By Andile Tshuma
In a bizarre incident, a three-year-old toddler was burnt to death after falling into a charcoal brazier commonly known as imbawula on which his parents were warming themselves in Bulawayo’s Burnside suburb.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele confirmed the report on Friday.
“We are investigating a case of sudden death which occurred on the 26th of September at around 4pm at a house in Burnside suburb.
The circumstances are that Marc Gwaunda, a toddler aged three years and two months was lying on the bed asleep while his father Gwaunda Gwaunda and mother Annastasia Manombe were warming themselves on the charcoal. The child fell on his face onto the burning charcoal heater which was on the floor. Further investigations are underway,” said Assistant Inspector Msebele.
Assistant Insp Msebele said the baby sustained severe scalds and burns on the face and scalp. He was allegedly quickly picked up by Mr Gwaunda who tried to render first aid by washing the scalds with cold water.
The boy is reported to have developed breathing problems and died before his parents could take him to hospital.
A report was made at Hillside Police Station and the body was taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals for post mortem.
“We are appealing to members of the public to be extra vigilant and to take good care of their children, especially infants. While accidents do occur and are unexpected, we advise members of the pubic to ensure that the home environment is safe for children, especially toddlers so that horrible developments such as injuries and death are avoided,” said Assistant Inspector Msebele.
Last week in a similar sad development, an 18-month-old toddler died in Gwelutshena after he crawled and fell into a tin of hot water.
The toddler’s mother had just removed the tin from the fire and disaster struck while she was outside the kitchen hut.
The boy died on the spot. The Chronicle