One of the four children of a family at Seplanatham near Neyveli, who developed a nauseating feeling after consuming the soft drink of a leading brand, died soon after admission to Cuddalore Headquarters Government Hospital on Sunday.
Three other children have been later referred to the Jipmer Hospital at Puducherry. The eldest of them is put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit there. Meanwhile, the police have arrested the shopkeeper Nagarathinam who sold the soft drink, and, on the order of District Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar the shop and the godown of soft drink distributor Babu at Vadalur have been sealed.
All the soft drink bottles belonging to the same batch have been withdrawn from 40 shops, located mostly in the rural and remote areas. It is learnt that Anjapuri, a labourer bought a bottle of soft drink at a Seplanatham shop and shared it among his children A. Lalitha (9), A. Abirami (8), A. Kausalya (7) and A. Paramasivam (5).
Soon after taking the drink the children complained of headache and discomfort. They were rushed to the government hospital where Abirami died soon after admission.
The other three children have been subsequently referred to the Jipmer Hospital. Deputy Director of Health Service J.R. Jawaharlal told The Hindu that he visited the Jipmer Hospital to ascertain the health condition of the children.
The samples of the soft drink from the shop as well as from the godown of the distributor at Vadalur had been collected and sent for test at the Guindy laboratory. Having come to know that the soft drink unit is located at Maduranthagam in Kancheepuram district, Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar has informed his counterpart of the episode.