PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Three year old, Prince Francette, died at the San Fernando General Hospital on Friday, after he received burns to 100 per cent of his body as he slept in a car that caught fire while his father was fixing the vehicle.
Police said that the father, Justin Francette, 22, was not injured when the vehicle exploded.
Investigators are still trying to piece together the circumstances that led to the tragedy, but the child is reported to have entered the back seat of the vehicle, while his father was doing some modifications to the vehicle that he had recently purchased.
Media reports said that relatives and neighbours of the Central Trinidad town of Tabaquite, had tried to use a garden hose to extinguish the flames in a desperate bid to save the child
One newspaper reported that the child was “unrecognisable as his entire body was burnt”.
Another newspaper said the horrific way in which the child lost his life has left the entire area of Cito Lane, Tabaquite, where his father lives, in a state of shock and sadness.
The circumstances surrounding the tragic incident are not yet clear, but the child was in the back seat of the car while his father was doing some modifications to the vehicle.
Neighbours said the father had recently purchased the old model Nissan March.
The child’s mother and father were separated. Describing him as a sweetheart in the neighbourhood, a resident said Prince lived with his mother, but would often visit his father.
Another neighbour said, “It is really terrible. It is sad. My heart hurts just thinking about the pain that child went through.”
Due to the extent of his burns, she was relieved that the child was no longer suffering.