Emery Flomo, 18, died in Karnplay, Gbehlay-Geh, Nimba County after he reportedly ate a coconut that residents said contained poison. Five other persons who also reportedly shared the coconut with Flomo are said to be in critical condition at a local health center, Radio Karn Voice of Peace has reported.
According to the radio station, Flomo was pronounced dead upon arrival at a local clinic shortly after he reportedly ate the coconut and thereafter complained of stomachache. Radio Karn reported that residents are still in shock and disbelief over the incident, which occurred on Sunday, January 7.
Flomo and few of his colleagues reportedly received and ate the 'poisonous' coconut from one of their friends.
His colleagues who shared the coconut with him reportedly came down with similar stomach pains. They are being treated at a local clinic, while one them is admitted in the intensive care unit of the Karnplay Clinic, the county health team has confirmed.
Officers of the Liberia National Police assigned with the Karnplay detail are reportedly investigating the incident. A police officer said the alleged coconut seller (name withheld) is helping a team of investigators at the Sanniquellie Police Station, where the investigation is being conducted.
While the the county health team and the LNP are investigating the cause of Flomo's death, a sample of specimen nurses took from the deceased before he was laid to rest on Tuesday, two days after his death, is being studied, Dr. Collins Bowah, the County Health Officer, has disclosed.
Family members have described Flomo's death as mysterious. Some of them are of the opinion that he was poisoned by some of his friends.
Flomo's death is reportedly causing fear among the locals, with some bringing up visions of the deadly Ebola crisis in 2014, when so many people perished in a similar manner.
Karnplay is situated close to the border with Ivory Coast. It is one of Nimba County's food baskets and its leading cocoa belt.
By Ishmael F. Menkor, Liberia