85 taken ill, ‘prasad’ at religious event suspect
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Around 85 people, including women and children, were taken ill on Saturday morning and the reason was suspected to be prasad served at a religious ceremony in Kalewadi on Friday.
Health department officials said all of them were out of danger but about 20 have been kept under observation as their condition was serious. Police, who suspect food poisoning, have sent samples of the prasad to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and an offence may be registered after the test results are received.
Sangvi police said a religious ceremony was organised in Kalewadi area on Friday during which "prasad" comprising rice, dal and sweetmeat were served to devotees.
Senior inspector Shantaram Tayde of Sangvi police station said, "The organisers told us that more than 10,000 people were present. People had started coming for prasad since morning. We have been told that some of the people started feeling sick by night. But by early (Saturday) morning, more than 70 persons started vomiting. They have been admitted to hospitals." The number of affected reached 85 in the evening. The affected include women and five children.
Shyamrao Gaikwad, chief medical officer with Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, said, "Prima facie this seems to be food poisoning. As many as 36 persons (it increased to 46 by late evening) have been admitted to YCM hospital, about 15 at Talera Hospital, and some at Jijamata Hospital."
Sangvi police said some of the affected have been admitted to Sassoon General Hospital. Health department officials said the condition of about 20 persons was serious and they have been kept under observation.
Tayde added, "The FDA staff have taken samples and we have also given the FDA some samples. Tests will reveal the cause. We have come to know that rice, dal and other ingredients were collected from devotees. We will have to find out what ingredient had caused the poisoning. Whether it was the water also needs to be found out."
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