In a ghastly incident that occurred on Wednesday, Feb. 19 in Australia's eastern city of Brisbane, a car was set ablaze killing one adult and three children inside. A woman suffered extensive burns, along with a passerby, who tried to intervene to help the victims. Police later named the adults as Rowan and Hannah Baxter.
Rowan and his three children, all aged under 10, died at the scene at Raven St, Camp Hill, while his wife Hannah, a fitness coach, is in hospital with severe burns. Rowan, a former New Zealand Warriors player, married Hannah in 2012 but the couple separated recently. They were running a fitness centre Integr8 Fitness at Capalaba, south of Brisbane but it was shut down last year, said local reports.
Four, including three children killed
The car had five occupants, three of them children, all under ten years of age and the man, known to the kids, was also charred to death in the incident. A woman, who survived had suffered extensive burns. Residents in the street, where the incident occurred, saw the woman jump out of the car, completely engulfed in fire and screaming, "he's poured petrol on me", a witness told The Australian.
A passerby, who "tried his best to get to the car" too suffered "facial burning," said a Queensland Ambulance spokesman.
What did the police say about the incident?
The police reached the scene at 8:30 am local time . "It's a horrific scene", said detective inspector Mark Thompson. "We've all got different experiences in life. I've seen some horrific scenes, this is up there with the [worst] of them... It is very early in the investigation, but the vehicle was fully involved in fire upon police arriving."
Police has confirmed that all victims lived in a local area but it might take time establish and reveal their identities or answer the question about what caused the blaze. "How the fire actually occurred has not been ascertained at the moment. For us to call it a murder-suicide or an accident is not appropriate at the moment," Thompson told reporters.
On Wednesday, Queensland's Police Minister Mark Ryan informed Parliament about the "horrific incident". "The situation is at a very early stage and I am informed that police are investigating all of the circumstances surrounding this tragic set of events". "My thoughts are with all of those affected by this terrible tragedy", he added.
Federal MP Terri Butler took to Twitter to offer "condolences to family, friends and the entire community".