A 44-year-old Malaysian-Chinese man in the northwestern state of Perak who became distraught after being dumped by his Vietnamese wife was arrested at his home after he allegedly tried to kill himself and his two sons aged seven and eight by initiating a cooking-gas explosion on Monday afternoon.

The suspect became emotionally distressed after his wife decided to leave him and reportedly returned to Vietnam, the China Press reported.

The man had just picked up his two sons at school and taken them back home in the town of Ayer Tawar, Sitiawan region, Perak. Villagers called for police assistance after hearing the man, who locked himself with his children in a bedroom, threatening to drink pesticide and to blow up his house by leaking cooking gas out of some cylinders.

Police tried to persuade the man to give up, while a team of firefighters broke into the house to rescue the trapped boys, who were sent to a nearby clinic for a checkup.

The man was then arrested for the alleged murder-suicide attempt.