Eight children in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district have died of suspected food poisoning while more than 100 others were hospitalised, an official said on Tuesday (May 30).

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The children died after consuming pork at a church gathering on Sunday at Nongkya village, Ri-Bhoi district magistrate Chinmay P Gotmare told news agency IANS.

“Three persons died on Monday and another five died on Tuesday morning in hospital,” he said.

Gotmare said he had ordered a magisterial inquiry, headed by D Kharsati, to ascertain what caused the deaths. Villagers claimed eating pork led to the tragedy.

He said a post mortem will be conducted to ascertain the cause of the deaths.

Health authorities have sent the food samples for test at a food laboratory in Guwahati.
State health and family welfare minister, Roshan Warjri, visited the victims of food poisoning in hospital. “I have directed the health officials to provide all necessary medical assistance to the victims,” Warjri said.

Ri Bhoi district medical and health officer Bareh P Lamin said till Tuesday, more than 212 infected persons were examined and 136 were admitted in different hospitals in Nongpoh and Shillong.  He said the names of all the deceased persons could not be ascertained as they were admitted in different hospitals.

The Shillong Times quoted the headman of Nongkya village Lumlang Barim saying that the cause of the tragedy was yet to be ascertained but it was suspected that the pork, which was slaughtered on Friday, caused poisoning.

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