Some 33 people including five children have now died in central Pakistan after eating sweets accidentally tainted with insecticide, officials said Sunday.
The mass poisoning occurred in the Karor Lal Esan area of Punjab province last month.
“The death toll from poisonous sweets has risen to 33 and 13 other victims are still in hospital,” district police chief Muhammad Ali Zia told AFP.
Local resident Umar Hayat bought the baked confectionery on April 17 to distribute among friends and family to celebrate the birth of his grandson.
Police were investigating how the chemicals were introduced into the sweets preparation process, he said.
Police last week said the worker may have inadvertently added pesticide to the sweet mix since there was a pesticide shop close by which was being renovated, and the owner had left his products at the bakery for safe keeping.
At least 150 villagers were taken ill after eating food at a death ritual in Kalyan area, police said today.
According to API S B More of Bazarpeth Police Station in Kalyan, the incident took place late last night after the victims consumed sweets at the ritual in Koni village following the demise of one Sakharam Balaram Mhatre.
Soon after the ritual, guests and relatives of the deceased in the village including women and children began complaining of giddiness and started vomiting, police said.
The samples of the served ‘Dhoodhi Halwa’ (a sweet preparation of milk and gourd), brought from a local shop have been collected and sent for testing, police said. Also, offences have been registered under section 272, 273 of the IPC and Food Safety and Security Act 2006 against shop owner Hydera Ali Rasulbhai Palsania, police said.
About 47 resident doctors were admitted at the Sion hospital after they complained of vomit and diarrhea. Authorities suspect sweets distributed at the hospital’s canteen to be a cause.
The doctors started fealing uneasy after 12.00 noon on Friday post their breakfast at the canteen. The contractor who is appointed by the BMC gives these doctors breakfast free of cost but since it was Independence Day, there were sweets prepared out of Khava which were brought from Sion Koliwada. About 150 doctors had consumed these sweets out of which 47 complained of health issues.