TRAGEDY struck Kidongo-Chekundu Street in the West Urban Municipality in Dar es Salaam yesterday as four under-five children suffocated to death in a parked car, Police and Hospital sources confirmed.
“It is a misfortune. At around 6pm on Sunday, the police were informed that four children were missing. Police officers, in collaboration with family members and residents, immediately started searching and found the children locked themselves in the car, already dead,” West Urban Regional Police Commander (RPC) Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Hassan Nassir said.
He identified the deceased as Haitham Mustapha Abubakari, Musli Hamza Bakar and Munawar Mohamed Khamis, all aged two years, and the eldest, Dodo Mohamed, 2.7 years old.
All the four children were living with their parents in the area. According to the RPC, the children found the parked car with one of its doors loosely open, and all entered inside, “It seems, they accidentally locked the door, probably cried for help, but their voices was unheard outside.”
Some residents said the children used to play together in the mornings and evenings, and on the tragedy day, they entered into the car and were trapped in for long without knowledge of the adults around.
Dr Marijani Msafiri, a Pathologist who conducted a post-mortem, confirmed that ‘Asphyxia’ due to suffocation, was the main cause of their deaths. “Further investigation may be required, but the post-mortem shows that the kids suffocated to death.
It’s really sad,” Dr Msafiri said, as he appealed to parents to take precautions in guiding their children, as well as ensuring that idle cars are properly locked.