Heartbroken family posts photo of smiling boy, 7, who leapt into toxic powder unaware it was deadly and died minutes after

8 August 2023, 10:13 | Updated: 8 August 2023, 10:23

Arthur died after breathing in limestone powder
Arthur died after breathing in limestone powder. Picture: Facebook

By Will Taylor

A heartbroken family has posted a photo of a boy playing in a pile of powder left by the side of the road - minutes before it poisoned him and killed him.

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Arthur Emanuel Bitencourt was playing in limestone powder, and his parents took a sweet photo of him smiling and giving two thumbs up as he revelled in it.

But they were unaware the substance, which is used in construction, was poisoning him. The seven-year-old was rushed to hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

He had leapt into the pile close to a family home in Ipiranga, in the southern Brazilian state of Parana, on August 3.

The boy looks happy as he sits covered up to his chest in the powder by the side of a road, next to a field and a parked lorry.

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Arthur died after climbing into the powder
Arthur died after climbing into the powder. Picture: Facebook

"This photo was the last and taken a few minutes before his tragic death, caused by inhaling limestone, while playing… The memories I will have of you, my dear child, will always be the best," uncle Romaldo Bitencourt said.

His family was unaware the powder could make him ill. Police are investigating his death.

"Our gratitude to GOD for putting Arthur in our life a treasure, who stayed with us for seven years, one month and ten days," Romaldo said.

Read more: 'We will punish and disgrace rogue lawyers who help small boat migrants lie to stay in UK', justice secretary vows

His family has been left devastated
His family has been left devastated. Picture: Social media
Romaldo spoke of his grief at the boy's death
Romaldo spoke of his grief at the boy's death. Picture: Facebook

"Life is like a moving train, but our dear and beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin, grandson, went down [landed] still in the beginning of the journey."

Construction workers are told to wear face masks and protective clothing like gloves and goggles when handling the substance.

It has cause serious lung problems as well as cancer and eye damage.

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