AN epileptic 18-months old boy allegedly died from severe burns he sustained after he fell into a fire in his grandmother’s kitchen.
The incident that left the little boy with serious injuries on the abdomen, buttocks and legs resulting in his death moments later, occurred last Tuesday evening at Isla Farm Village 2, Lubangwe in Hwange District.
The boy had been left sitting near the fire where he was warming himself in a kitchen hut by his grandmother who had gone to take a bath at around 7PM. A report was made to the police and the body was taken to Hwange Colliery Hospital mortuary and then transfered to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo for postmortem.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese could not be reached for comment.A police source identified the victim as Sifiso Sibanda. The source said Ms Sikhangele Sibanda (53), who is the boy’s grandmother, reported the matter last Wednesday afternoon.
“On 25 June at around 7PM, Sikhangele Sibanda who is grandmother to Sifiso left him sitting in the kitchen near the fire warming himself when she went out to take a bath behind the kitchen hut. Ms Sibanda allegedly left a tin with boiling water on the fire.
“While she was still bathing, she heard the sound of a falling tin and rushed into the kitchen to check. She found her grandson convulsing while his lower body was in the fire. The tin had fallen on the boy and hot water spilt on him,” said the source.
The Chronicle was told that Ms Sibanda quickly pulled her grandson out of the fire and noticed that he was frothing from the mouth while his legs, abdomen and buttocks were burnt by fire and boiling water. She wrapped him with a blanket before phoning her husband, Mr Dumoluhle Masuku who had gone to Victoria Falls.
Mr Masuku arrived home at around 9PM when the little boy had died. The couple reported the matter to the police who attended the scene on Wednesday.
Ms Sibanda told police that her grandson first had an epileptic attack when he was three months old.
Police are investigating the matter.