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Blind pensioner perishes in blaze

Mon, 16 February 2015 06:46
by Chris-Paul


A blind 79 year-old man, Immanuel Shaningwa, lost his life in an inferno at the Iitananga Village in the Tsandi area last week after his hut had mysteriously caught fire.
According Omusati Region Public relations Officer, Lineekela Shikongo, the pensioner, along with two toddlers, was left behind by his wife who went to tend to the family’s mahangu field.
“His wife left the house around 6 am and only came back around 7 pm. When she got home, she found that the house had caught fire. No one knows where the fire came from, “said Warrant Officer Shikongo.
With the help of neighbours, according to Shikongo, the pensioner’s wife tried to rescue him from the blaze, but it was too late.
“It was too late for the old man as he was already dead by the time. Fortunately they managed to rescue the two kids who had sustained minor injuries and were rushed to Okahao District Hospital where their conditions are currently stable,” said.
Shikongo said police could not determine whether the deceased died from burn wounds or smoke suffocation as the post-mortem results were still pending.
He also commented on the allegations by family members that suggested that there was foul play involved in the incident.
“We are aware of the allegations and right now I cannot confirm them because we are in the middle of the investigations. As you can imagine, this matter will be very serious if the allegations are any close to the truth. At the moment we are carefully looking into it and will not leave a stone unturned,” said Warrant Shikongo.
The family of the deceased are suspecting foul play mainly because of an on-going family rivalry, and that the pensioner and the toddlers did not have any access to fire.
“At this stage all these are just allegations but that does not mean the investigators are not looking into them. All these things are being considered, but now I cannot confirm foul play at this stage,” Shikongo said.