11 dead after worshippers consume food offering at Indian temple

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Posted

December 15, 2018 20:30:57

Eleven people including two children died and more than 90 were hospitalised after consuming a religious food offering at a temple in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, police say, calling it a suspected case of mass food poisoning.

Key points:

  • Worshippers served a religious food offering of tomato rice
  • The organs of the dead have been sent to a forensic laboratory to determine the poisoning
  • Local government will give financial assistance to the families of the dead.

Two people have been questioned in connection with the incident on Friday, after devotees fell ill when they ate tomato rice at a Hindu temple.

Many people are still being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea and respiratory diseases.

Media reports in India said the suspected food poisoning was the result of pesticide contamination but police said it was too early to draw conclusions about the cause.

“We have sent the organs of the dead people and the poisoned food to the forensic laboratory,” said Geetha MS, a senior police officer in the Chamarajanagar district where the temple is located.

“Only after receiving the report can we say what went wrong.”

Several crows and dogs were also found dead after eating the food, officer Geetha added.

In 2013, 23 school children died in the eastern state of Bihar in one of the worst outbreaks of mass food poisoning in the country.

Police had suspected that it was caused by cooking oil that had been kept in a container previously used to store pesticide.

The Karnataka government would provide financial assistance of 500,000 rupees ($9,683) to the families of each of the dead, according to media reports.

Reuters

Topics:

health,

diseases-and-disorders,

food-poisoning,

india



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