Muslim worshipper dies in apparent suicide in mosque in Wembley
PUBLISHED: 11:14 23 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:34 23 July 2015
A worshipper has died in an apparent suicide inside a mosque in Wembley which resulted in a hospital A&E department being closed for two hours.
Abdul Cadir Ussene, 67, collapsed in front of horrified worshippers after drinking a toxic substance shortly after the start of Ramadan breakfast prayers in Wembley Central mosque in Ealing Road, last week.
He was rushed to Northwick Park Hospital on July 13 at 9.19pm where medics were forced to temporarily close and divert ambulances as a precaution because Mr Ussene had been “exposed to a chemical”.
The devout Muslim, who leaves behind a wife, Suraiya, a son and two daughters, died nine hours later.
More than 1,200 mourners attended his funeral two days after his death which was held at the mosque, where he been a worshipper for more than 20 years.
Imam Abdul Sattar, who led the funeral service, was called to Mr Ussene’s side and spoke to him minutes before he lost consciousness inside the mosque.
He said “I was praying before Ramadan breakfast, someone came to tell me and said someone had fallen down in front of my office in the mosque.
“When I came to him he grabbed me and my right hand. He told me ‘Imam I didn’t do anything wrong, I haven’t done any wrong for the mosque’ and then he couldn’t say any more.”
Mr Ussene lived with his family in Chaplin Road just yards from the mosque and moved to Wembley from his native India more than two decades ago.
He was respected in the community for leading fundraising for the mosque’s reconstruction projects and had sat on its management committee.
Imam Sattar said: “It is very sad. He did a lot of good in the mosque and was a very hard worker. Everyone has been saying what has happened and nobody expected he would do this.
“He came to my office to see me a few weeks ago and he was fine- there have been a lot of rumours but no one knows why.”
Mr Ussene’s daughter Samira, 42, said the family could not think of any reason why he would want to harm himself.
Tina Benson, director of operations for London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, confirmed the hospital was temporarily closed for two hours “in order to keep patients and staff safe while the incident was dealt with”.
A spokeswoman for the London Ambulance Service confirmed crews were called to the mosque and treated a man reported to be in his 60s who was taken “as a priority” to hospital.