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The Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Anambra State, has revealed that the late Rev Fr Edmund Nwagbara, who died in a fire which engulfed the parish house Saturday November 16, might have died from inhaling toxic fume from the exploded inverter battery in his apartment.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev. Father Hyginus Aghaulor, gave the explanation in a statement released by the Diocese following the sad incident at St. Peter Clever Catholic Parish NnewiIchi.

He said that while his Assistant, Rev Fr. John Obasi, was also affected, but escaped with burn injuries, Fr. Nwagbara, might have died from toxic fumes from the inverter battery in his apartment.

“At about 2.30a.m., there was a big bang coming from Fr. Nwagbara’s room that woke some people up. But already, his apartment was in flames. Fire Service was called and they managed to come in ‘our Nigerian way’ of approaching such issues.

Neighbours tried to put out the fire but it was simply like a hell. When eventually the Fire Service gained entrance into the apartment, he was already burnt beyond recognition. It’s very likely that the fire came from the inverter in his room. When it was heated up, the battery blew up like a bomb.

Looking at late remains of the deceased, he didn’t look like someone that struggled before dying. The toxin from the burning battery which he must have been inhaling slowly in his sleep might have killed him before the actual fire burnt him. One would expect someone struggling or trying to escape to die very close to the door or at a corner and not to relax on his bed,” he said.

The Diocesan Chancellor expressed a deep sense of loss in the Diocese and prayed God to grant repose to the soul of the dead and quick recovery for the wounded.

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