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Politics News

Death toll rises

The death toll among members of Montserrado County District #11 Rep. Richard Koon’s family continues to rise days after they reportedly suffered from a carbon monoxide inhalation at their newly bought home in Barnersville, outside Monrovia.

So far at least four members of his family including his mother are confirmed dead, as his little sister, the fifth victim remained under critical condition at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor as at Tuesday, 19 February.

Neighbors told the New Dawn on Tuesday that it all started Saturday night when the electric generator at the family home gave out more smoke (carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can lead to serious tissue damage, or even death. The gas is produced by burning gasoline, wood, charcoal or other fuel.)

Due to the lack of electricity throughout the city many homes rely on generators to produced current. However, the increasing rate of theft has forced many to take the risk of keeping their generators indoors neglecting personal safety, especially homes that are not fenced in.

Koon’s mother Ma Lucky died upon arrival at the JFK Hospital Saturday, while his brother Francis Koon and two sisters Tina and Julie died in succession from Saturday through Monday.

Neighbors said they became aware of the incident which had occurred over night on March 16, upon the arrival of the maid at the house about 9AM and noticed strangely that all the doors and windows were still closed and none of the occupants were found outside.

“The nurse came to work at 9AM. She noticed something strange happened. The whole house was quiet, all the doors and windows were locked and the generator still beating in the house,” a resident of the community, Charles Gray told the New Dawn reporter in an interview.

“She tried knocking the door but no one could answer from inside. That’s how she reached out to some community dwellers that rushed to the house, opened the door and found everyone in the house unconscious,” Mr. Gray narrated further.

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According to him, Rep. Koon who was attending a beauty pageant held in the district from Friday night at the E. Jonathan Goodridge High School, Barnesville Estate was immediately called via mobile phone and informed of the incident.

Gray said Rep. Koon arrived at his mother’s residence with the district’s ambulance, and the victims were taken to the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Sinkor.

However, Mr. Gray says Rep. Koon’s mother Ma Lucky was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
The rest of the three victims, Francis Koon, Tina and Julie died in succession from Saturday through Monday, according to Mr. Gray and other hospital sources.

An office staff of Rep. Koon, Mr. Claudius Dickson says the lawmaker’s sister identified as Tina gave up the ghost on that same Saturday; while on Sunday, 17 March, another sister identified as Julie died while undergoing treatment at the JFK.

Mr. Dickson continues that on Monday, 18 March, Rep. Koon’s brother identified as Francis Koon died, while the fifth victim, a little girl still remained under critical condition at the hospital.

Eyewitnesses have attributed the untimely demise of the victims to a generator smoke that they say has allegedly suffocated the deceased.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dickson says members of the 54th Legislatures led by Speaker Bhofal Chambers were expected at the home of Rep. Koon to console the District #11 lawmaker and the rest of his family in the time of their bereavement.

In the same vein, former ruling Unity Party of which Rep. Koon is a member has extended deepest sympathy to the lawmaker and his entire family.
-as tragedy hits lawmaker family

By Ben P. Wesee –Edited by Winston W. Parley

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