Panic as dozens are hospitalised with food poison symptoms
A six-year-old child and two adults died and nearly 70 were hospitalised with vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration on Saturday after they drank Ramanavami panaka (a cocktail of fruit juice) and buttermilk the evening before in Valmikinagar at Azadnagar here.
Although doctors at the State-run Victoria and Vani Vilas hospitals — where most of the victims are being treated — confirmed the death of the child, Ganga, volunteers who helped the ailing reach hospitals said Krishnamurthy, one of the office-bearers of the Muthu Maramma temple, where the drink was prepared and distributed, also died later.
Doctors at Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research said although Krishnamurthy had been referred to the hospital from Victoria, he got himself discharged against medical advice and went back to Victoria.
Doctors at Victoria, however, said Krishnamurthy died en route to the hospital and they could not confirm the cause of his death.
The third death was that of Ameena Bi (65), wife of Syed Samad, muezzin of Masjid-e-Huda. She died in Victoria late on Saturday.
Panic gripped the neighbourhood after the death and food poisoning symptoms. Machiwala Syed Akmal, a resident who organised medical help to the affected, told The Hindu he had sent nearly 70 people to various hospitals all through the day in ambulances and autorickshaws.
“Most are taking treatment in private clinics and hospitals because they are not getting proper attention in Victoria Hospital. Although so many have fallen sick, no officials from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) visited the area,” he said.
The Chamarajpet police have booked a case of negligence leading to death against the temple management. Preliminary investigations revealed that the panaka was distributed by the temple committee led by one Palani, who is said to be absconding.
The police collected the samples and sent it to the Forensics Science Laboratory for analysis.