Tainted milk scandal: Chinese couple held for poisoning

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 14:39

Beijing: A Chinese couple has been
charged with intentional poisoning in the recent tainted milk
scandal in which three children were dead and 36 others fell
ill in northwest China`s Gansu Province.

The government of Pingliang City, where the incident
occurred, partially revealed the identities of the two
suspects at a press conference yesterday.

Thirty-nine people in Pingliang were sent to the
hospital after drinking nitrite-tainted milk on Thursday.

The three children who died were below 2 years of age
and the youngest was only 36 days old.

Investigators found that nitrite, an industrial salt
that can be deadly, had been added to fresh milk from two
dairies.

The tainted milk incident was a case of intentional
poisoning and they had taken the suspects into custody, police
said on Sunday.

The suspects, a man with the surname Wu and his wife,
surnamed Ma, are residents of Jingtan Village in Liuhu
Township of Kongtong District, the city government spokesman,
Wu Zhentu was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

As of yesterday afternoon, 31 people have been
discharged from the hospital, and the remaining five people
are in stable condition, Wu added.

The spokesman did not disclose the motive for the
crime at yesterday`s news briefing, but according to villagers
who live near the farms, vicious competition among farm owners
might be involved.

PTI




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