Man commits suicide by ingesting watusi
- Nestor Etolle            () - January 2, 2008 - 12:00am

Despondent over an imminent breakup with his live-in partner, a 29-year-old rugby sniffer decided to end his life by ingesting watusi while his households were celebrating New Year’s Eve in Tondo, Manila.

Watusi, a “dancing” firecracker containing extremely poisonous and toxic yellow phosphorous, trinitrotoluene, potassium chlorate and nitrate, destroys the intestine lining leading to a slow, agonizing death when ingested.

Francis Herbert Arika was already weak and incoherent when discovered on his bed as the city was enveloped with exploding firecrackers, according to his mother Amor. A bottle of Red Horse beer and several pieces of watusi were scattered on his bedside. The victim was also vomiting.

Unfamiliar with the dangers of watusi ingestion, Amor initially thought that her son was just drunk. She even decided to forego bringing her son to a hospital. “I am afraid of exploding firecrackers. So I decided to pass away the revelry,” Amor told The STAR in Filipino.

It was already past 3 a.m. when Amor rushed her son to the Tondo General Hospital.

Doctors confirmed that Francis Herbert had ingested watusi and that the poison had already destroyed his vital organs. Francis Herbert died a few minutes later.

According to Amor, her son had been despondent since Dec. 19 after learning that his live-in partner Jenny wanted to end their relationship.

The victim had also intimated to her to take good care of his eight-month-old son by Jenny. “On New Year’s Eve he told me that he would like to eat custard cake since it may be his last. I was not aware that he was already having premonition,” Amor said.

The mother could not tell where his son got the watusi, except to say that she knows her son was a rugby sniffer.

Authorities have classified watusi as one of the banned firecrackers, but enterprising vendors manage to hide and sell it to anybody, especially children.         


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with