Wednesday 13 August 2008 (10 Sha`ban 1429)



Saudi Arabia: Food contamination suspected as two children die in Madinah
Yousuf Muhammad I Arab News


Source of Article:



MADINAH: A Pakistani family here lost two children while three other members are still in hospital in critical condition due to food poisoning that may involve insecticide.

Khaled Husain, the father of the two children, told Arab News that he bought a fast food meal from one of the famous restaurants in Madinah at around 2 p.m. last Sunday.

He said his children started showing symptoms of sickness immediately after taking the food.

"The condition of my five-year-old son, Hisham, was very critical so I took him to the ER at the Ansar Hospital," said Husain. "While there my wife called and told me that our daughter Aisha is facing the same problems."

He said an ambulance went and picked up the rest of the family to the hospital, but Aisha's condition was getting worse.

Police have not released the name of the restaurant, but said they were investigating the possibility that the poisoning may have had a different source.

Arab News cannot publish the name of the restaurant without the authorities doing so first in order to protect against potential defamation complaints.

According to Husain, his son died at 4 a.m. and his daughter two hours later. His other two children, Sami, 3, and Wafa, 1, and his pregnant wife are still receiving treatment at the hospital.

Muhsin Al-Radadi, the spokesman of Madinah police, said that investigations were still proceeding to know the causes of the poisoning.

Ahmad Barbushi, the acting general supervisor of the Medical Information Department in Madinah, said the doctors made every effort to save the children.

"The Health Affairs office sent a team to the home of the victims and found a highly poisonous insecticide, which might have affected the family," said Barbushi, who also added that they had sent blood samples in for lab tests.



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