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Severely burned boy, 4, dies after mom gave him gasoline to drink

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy has died three days after he was severely burned after being given gasoline to drink by his mother amidst a fight between his parents in Jinhua city in east China’s Zhejiang Province.

Zhang Zhihao, who sustained severe burns over 35 percent of his body, was taken off life support on Sunday afternoon after his father agreed. Doctors had who determined that he would be an amputee who had no sense of sight, taste, smell or hearing though he might survive the third-degree burns he had.

The 48-year-old father, Zhang Qiusheng, was faced with the choice of either letting his boy die in peace or live in pain -- and he made the difficult decision to disconnect life support, the local Jinhua Evening News reported on Monday.

“When dad made the decision, he burst out in tears. He rarely cries,” said Zheng Mengting, his 20-year-old daughter by his first wife.

Zhang Qusheng and his wife, Shen Dan, 40, also suffered 15 percent burns on their bodies during the incident. Since Shen still couldn’t speak, local police couldn’t question her and conduct a further investigation, according to the local City Express newspaper.

Zhang Qiusheng said he and his wife had been feuding and Shen had threatened to kill their son and then commit suicide. After Shen came home from work on Thursday afternoon, she gave her son a drink from a soft drink bottle, but the contents turned out to be gasoline.

In an ensuing tussle, they hit the stove and the boy caught fire. He was taken to Jinhua Center Hospital.


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