Family of three dies after inhaling toxic gas in Nairobi’s Dandora estate

Burning jiko photo:courtesy

A family of three was Tuesday found dead in their rooms after they inhaled poisonous gas from a burning jiko in Nairobi’s Dandora estate.

The bodies of Jackson Ogutu Otieno, 33, his wife Gorretti Otieno, 22 and their daughter Keyla Owino aged four years were found lying on their beds long after they had died.

Buruburu police boss Geoffrey Maiyek said the caretaker of the apartment where the family stayed became curious after failing to see the occupants leave there.

“When he checked he realized the door was locked from inside. It was then that he called neighbours and police who broke in and found the bodies therein,” he said.

The bodies were found at about 2 pm. Maiyek added they also found a jiko in the two roomed house which had githeri.

“We suspect they died out of poisoning that came from the burning jiko but we will know more after conducting postmortem on the bodies,” said the police boss.


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The family was boiling githeri on a jiko when the incident happened. The cold season in Nairobi is approaching and many use jikos to warm themselves.

In Kenya, it is more commonly known as the silent killer for victims whose only mistake is an innate desire to keep warm behind closed doors during the cold weather.

Maiyek advised families to avoid using jikos in warming themselves. This follows similar incident last year in which three people died in Mukuru slums in Nairobi, due to carbon monoxide poisoning as they were boiling githeri (a mixture of beans and maize), on a jiko.

Another woman died in Embakasi area in similar circumstances.
Police said she had tried to use a burning jiko to boil a concoction of herbal medicine to treat her flu when she died.

Officials have advised members of the public to ensure their rooms are well-ventilated before lighting jikos indoors.

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