Boy, 2, died after being exposed to damp and mould on the estate where Man Utd player grew up | The Sun

Boy, 2, died after being exposed to damp and mould on the estate where Man Utd player grew up | The Sun

August 16, 2022

A TODDLER died after living in a damp and mouldy home on the estate where Manchester United star Axel Tuanzebe grew up, a court has heard.

Little Awaab Ishak's family had been complaining about the condition of their property in Rochdale, Greater Manchester even before the tot was born, it was said.

Awaab died in December 2020, just a week after his second birthday. His death is linked to the conditions he was living in, a pre-inquest review has heard.

It was said that Awaab's mum and dad had repeatedly contacted Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) about the state of their flat on the Freehold estate, the MEN reports.

Father Faisal Abdullah first moved to the flat in 2016, before his wife moved in two years later.

But from the beginning of their tenancy, they'd worried about mould.

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The family had tried to move home and even filed a disrepair claim.

RBH said the damp was "unsightly" – but posed no risk to health, it was heard.

However, a pathologist said Awaab's death was linked to "environmental lung exposure".

And a report carried out by Rochdale Council after the tragedy found he had suffered "category one" harm – or extreme harm – due to mould and damp.

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Although Awaab's family didn't want to comment, other residents from the estate say they've also suffered problems with their own homes.

Mariana Embolo, 21, said: "Since we moved here 10 years ago we have been painting and cleaning.

"We do whatever we can but it keeps coming back."

Adatanilza da Cruz and her children Jussara and Luana have also had trouble with their home, while another woman said she has developed symptoms of asthma for the first time since taking on the tenancy.

Thick black mould covers her kitchen, and workers called to deal with the problem covered it with a painted board, she claimed.

RBH has pledged to inspect every one of the 376 homes on the Freehold estate.

Tuanzebe grew up at the site after moving to Rochdale from the Democratic Republic of Congo with his parents as a child.


Gareth Swarbrick, chief executive of RBH, said: "We are saddened to hear about the issues raised by residents in this piece. We have made direct contact with all the residents to look at how we can support them and to ensure their homes are at the standard we would wish to see.

"We have established a dedicated, specialist team who have started to visit every home in this neighbourhood to check the current condition of all of the 376 homes. We expect this to be completed by early September.

"Any issues relating to damp and mould will be dealt with as a priority.

"Actions could include installation of Positive Input Ventilation units and humidity sensors as well as three stage anti-mould treatments.

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"The dedicated, specialist team can be contacted on freephone 0800 027 7769.”

A full inquest into Awaab's death will take place in November.

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