Harmattan: 2 died, family of 6 hospitalized in Plateau

The harsh freezing weather occasioned by severe harmattan in Jos capital of Plateau State has claimed two lives, leaving six other unconscious while trying to keep themselves warm with burning charcoals.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that two young men identified as Idris Dahiru and Saminu Idris who were residence of Gengere in Jos North local government area of the state were smoked to death on Saturday. The incident happened at about 9:15 pm while they were preparing to sleep, the two brothers prepared charcoals in a big container to keep themselves warm.

A source close to the scene of the incident disclosed that shortly after they had slept, the charcoals started emitting smoke that covered the room adding that it was the intensity of the smoke from the deceased room that attracted the attention of people in the other rooms within the building who had to force the door open.

He said the two were found stoned dead adding that the smoke from the burnt charcoals was emitting an offensive odour that could be likened to toxic.

In the same vein, another family of six in Fillin Sukuwa area of Jos North local government are presently recuperating at Salma hospital in the community for inhaling smoke from burning charcoals they placed in their room to keep themselves warm on Sunday.

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It was gathered from the hospital that they were rescued by neighbours who noticed the smoke coming out of their room, the six were rushed to the nearby hospital by family members.

As a result of the prevailing harmattan in Jos, those selling charcoals are making brisk business. When Nigerian Tribune visited the popular charcoals market along Tafawa Balewa road in Jos, different people irrespective of gender were seen buying charcoals thus forcing sellers to jerk up the price.

One of the sellers identified as Mama Vero confirmed that charcoals from some burnt trees could emit an offensive odour which if inhaled could cause instant death adding that those in the business can be identified such.

“We can easily identify the bad ones, that is why we always removed them from the sacks. But you can spot them through the smell and the smoke. The good ones after they were burnt will never emit smoke but to be on a safer side small quantity of salt should be poured on the charcoals before going to bed, this will prevent the charcoals from bringing out smoke” she said.

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