An 18-month-old boy has died after consuming a bottle of kerosene, which his mother served him as water in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.
The incident reportedly occurred on Iguma Street, off Medical road in Benin, the state capital.
The deceased, identified as Israel Buhari, was said to have received the substance from his mother, a kerosene vendor, when he complained of thirst at about 10 am last Tuesday.
It was learnt that the little boy gulped the petroleum product, but spat out the rest of the content when it became unpalatable for him.
The mother, Mrs. Ata, was said to have realised that she had served her only son the wrong drink when he screamed in pain from the impact of the ingested substance.
Neighbours, who were invited for help by his mother, offered the victim some palm oil before rushing him to a hospital where he died few hours later.
A source said, “Few minutes after ingesting the substance, the little child’s eyes turned pure white as he screamed uncontrollably.”
Kerosene sold by retailers is commonly stored in old beverage containers in several parts of the country.
Ata, who hails from Kogi State, said one of her children had filled the bottle with water, which they took to their store on the day the incident occurred.
But she added that she had mistakenly picked the one containing kerosene and given it to her child to quench his thirst.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Nkombe, on Saturday, could not confirm the incident to our correspondent.
Nkombe said, “I have not been briefed. Most of these issues, especially when they are caused by the parents, hardly go to the police. So, there is ‘no suspect.”