Toxic potatoes kill two children, five hospitalised



Lucknow: Two children died and five others were hospitalised in Uttar Pradesh after they consumed potatoes that may have contained too much pesticide, medical officials said on Friday.

Lokesh, 5, and Sumit, 3, both of Salabad village of Bulandshahr district, died of food poisoning on Thursday. Five teenagers from the same village took ill after consuming the potatoes that are believed to have been cultivated by local farmers.

"It appears to be a case of food poisoning. We have been told that the victims, who belong to three families in the village, had bought potatoes from local farmers who probably used insecticides to make the potatoes bigger and increase their marketability," Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Jai Singh told reporters on Friday in Bulandshahr, some 400 km from Lucknow.

"Others who took ill after consuming the potatoes are being treated in the hospitals of Bulandshahr and Aligarh. They all are stated to be out of danger," he added.

The health authorities have sent a team of doctors and other medical staff in the village for timely treatment of other villagers who may have consumed the same toxic potatoes.

"Today, we have not received any case of food poisoning. However, the doctors and medical teams will continue to camp in the village for the next few days," said Singh.

"We have seized some potato stocks of local farmers. These have been sent for laboratory analysis," he added.

IANS