1 dies, 18 fall sick taking water melon in Kushtia

1 dies, 18 fall sick taking water melon in Kushtia

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A minor girl died while 18 people, including seven members of a family, fell sick after taking water melon at Kaloa village in Kumarkhali upazila on Sunday. The deceased was identified as Smriti, 9, daughter of Askar Ali of the village.
Among the injured, Smriti’s brother Anik, 11, was rushed to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital in a critical condition while some others — Faruk, 9, Maruf, 11, Meem, 9, Jim, 6, Niharu, 70, Islam Ali Sheikh, 60, Rekha, 22, Jhantu, 30, were admitted to Kushtia General Hospital.Askar Ali who works at a garment factory in the capital came to his village home on Friday night. He brought a water melon along with him from Kumarkhali.
On Saturday, he together with his family members and neighbours took the water melon. Soon they started falling ill one by one.
The sick persons were rushed to Kushtia General Hospital where Smriti died on Sunday noon. Contacted, Dr Salek Masud, senior medical officer of the Kushtia hospital, said the water melon might be laced with poisonous chemical following which the minor girl died and the others fell sick.
Civil Surgeon Dr M Mostafizur Rahman of Kushtia also gave similar version about the girl’s death. He, however, said after conducting tests, it would be clear what actually caused the death. The incident has thrown people into panic.
Meanwhile, police detained the water melon seller in connection with the incident and seized 19 of the summer fruits from his shop. – UNB

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