A seven-year-old boy and his five-year-old sister died after consuming tea in Sablewadi area of Shirur taluka of the district on Saturday night while their grandmother (58) and great-grandmother (78) who were taken ill after consuming tea are in a critical condition in hospital.
Chemical tests of blood samples revealed that the four had suffered organo-phosphate poisoning and it is suspected that some insecticide or pesticide got mixed in some ingredient that was used to prepare the tea. Shirur police said Sangram Santosh Dhawale (7) and his sister Pranjal (5) died,and their grandmother Kamlabai Prabhakar Dhawale and her mother Shantabai Langhe are in a critical condition. Kamlabai is at a private hospital in Pune and Shantabai is at a Shirur hospital.
Police sub-inspector,Shirur police station,Mahesh Swami,said,”The four had tea on Saturday evening. After about an hour all of them had excessive sweating and breathing problems. They were taken to a private hospital in Shirur where the girl was declared dead on arrival.”
B M Pachundkar,who runs the hospital,said,”Both the boy and girl had stopped breathing. Our efforts to resuscitate the girl failed. But the boy responded. As we did not have a paediatric ventilator,the boy had to be sent to Pune. We came to know in the wee hours of Sunday that the boy had died.” Police have registered a case of accidental death.
“We have not yet registered any offence. We may do that only if we have some leads pointing to foul play,” said Pachundkar and added,”As we were told,the only thing they had before they were taken ill was tea. Both clinical symptoms and laboratory tests point to organo-phosphate poisoning caused by chemicals used in insecticides or pesticides.” Swami said,”Kamlabai is under treatment at a private hospital in Pune while Shantabai is on ventilator at a hospital in Shirur. Both are said to be in a critical condition. Police have collected the tea powder and other ingredients used to prepare the tea. We have sent all collected substances for chemical tests. We will speak to parents of the children after some time. They are not in a position to talk to anyone.