By Elo Edremoda, Warri
Four suspected internet fraudsters have been confirmed dead after reportedly consuming noodles in a single-room apartment in Abraka, host community to the Delta State University, in Ethiope East council area of the state.
The Nation learnt that three others are currently hospitalised, with two unconscious at the Eku Specialist Hospital also within the council area.
Further findings reveal that the victims may have died as a result of inhaling a chemical substance.
According to reports, the seven boys who were occupants of the single room apartment located in a private hostel, identified as Sunrose Hostel, ate the meal together Wednesday evening and slept off.
However, one of them reportedly called for help early Thursday, when he discovered that the others were unconscious, and he too was feeling unwell.
But a resident of the area claimed that at about 2am, some yet to be unidentified persons had directed that residents evacuated the premises for fumigation of the hostel.
“I just woke up. Not knowing that since 2am, they have been telling everybody to evacuate the compound. I don’t know if those boys slept inside the room, seven of them slept inside. They said they ate noodles yesterday night.
“I don’t know if those boys didn’t leave the compound. Other people left, but they didn’t leave. So they sprayed chemical in the compound. That’s how they slept with the chemical till this morning.
“It was this morning that they came to knock their door and saw that seven of them were lifeless. They confirmed four of them dead instantly. Three were rushed to the hospital.
“Someone said it is poison, another said it is chemical, doctor said it is chemical. I am confused. How can they spray chemical when they know people stay in the area. I slept very deep yesterday. What if the chemical came close to me? I am so tired,” the distraught resident lamented.
Two brothers alongside their cousin are said to be among the deceased four.
Persons, who responded to the alarm allegedly raised by one of the three survivors, claimed a strong foul smell greeted them on entering the room.
The stomachs of the victims were said to be swollen and their skins peeling off.
When contacted, the Delta State Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, assured that the victims were not students of DELSU.
She said, “it’s not hostel room but a private apartment. They are not students. According to the caretaker, the room was rented to one person but at times, he brings seven or nine people.
“But on this particular occasion, they were seven in the room. It was the vigilante who called the attention of the police.
“Residents of the compound called the vigilante that an offensive odour was coming out of a room, but by the time they got there with the police they found out that four people were dead, two unconscious and one conscious.
“They were rushed to Eku Specialist Hospital. Doctors confirmed the four of the boys dead while two are still receiving medical treatment.
“The one that was conscious said the previous night, they prepared noodles to eat only for him minutes later to start feeling unease. By the time he got up, others were lying down.
“They are not students of the university. They only live in Abraka. The room was just a room apartment. Their bellies were swollen and their bodies were peeling as if they were poured hot water,” the PPRO stated.