View Full Version : China mass poisoning believe to have killed more than 100 people

Sep 15th, 2002, 08:03 PM
A very sad story :sad: hope they can find the person behind all this soon

China investigates mass poisoning

Beijing appears to be playing down the crisis

China has ordered an investigation into the cause of a mass outbreak of food poisoning near the eastern city of Nanjing which may have killed at least 100 people, many of them children.

One minute he was sitting there eating and the next he stood up and keeled over

Witness Peng Yongqing
State media had reported that 40 people had died and hundreds were receiving treatment after eating breakfast from a outlet in the town of Tangshan on Saturday.

But the BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Beijing says that since then, reports appear to have been censored, with references to the number of casualties removed.

The outlet has been closed and the authorities have taken its owner in for questioning.

Investigators have also sealed off an alley near opposite the outlet where its food was cooked at a stall.

Local people have told Reuters news agency that the actual death toll is greater than 100 - a figure echoed by independent Chinese media in Hong Kong.

No cause of the outbreak has been suggested officially but Hong Kong papers say the victims' symptoms suggest rat poison.

Fast food

Victims had eaten breakfast snacks such as dough sticks and rice balls from the tiny fast-food outlet, a branch of the Heshengyuan Soy Milk chain on Tangshan's main street.

Witnesses described how people began spitting blood and then collapsed after taking just a few mouthfuls of the snacks.

Local hospitals were swamped by victims

Peng Yongqing, who owns a store next to the outlet, said he saw one elderly man collapse after eating breakfast from the outlet.

"It happened right there in front of my store," he told Reuters.

"One minute he was sitting there eating and the next he stood up and keeled over. We all thought he was choking, we had no idea what was wrong."

Mr Peng said the man had died on the way to hospital.

Many of the victims were boarding school students at the Zuochang Middle School which bought breakfast from the shop each day.

According to one Chinese newspaper, students went into shock after taking only a couple of bites of their food, spitting mucus and blood and falling to the ground unconscious.

Migrant construction workers were also among those affected.

Sensitive time

Food poisoning deaths have sometimes occurred in China from restaurants using cheaper industrial salts instead of edible salt.

State media reported that food poisoning killed 146 people and affected more than 15,000 others last year, with many caused by rat poison, chemicals and bacteria.

Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper has cited analysts as saying the Tangshan symptoms were consistent with exposure to rat poison.

The media are now stressing the fact that the central government is acting to tackle the problem.

The Communist Party's major national Congress meeting is due to begin in just a few weeks' time and, our correspondent says, the authorities are highly sensitive about any bad news ahead of it.

Sep 15th, 2002, 08:22 PM

That is just terrible news.. I too hope they find the perpetraitors soon..

Sep 15th, 2002, 08:48 PM
That is utterly horrible. Poor, poor people and poor families :sad: :sad: :sad:
What greed can do (if it is indeed greed) :mad:

Sep 16th, 2002, 05:16 AM
There are many speculation at the moment, the governmen tis trying to downplay it a bit, there are no theory around why they would want to do it. A theory said that maybe someone is jealous of this restaurant as they are so popular in that town and therefore pour rat poison onto the soya bean drink

Dawn Marie
Sep 16th, 2002, 05:45 AM

Right now I am not going to think someone did this on purpose, because they also claim that sometimes in error the wrong salt can be used. Causing rat poison. I hope this was not done on purpose.


I wish the families the best, this is a total shock.

Sep 16th, 2002, 05:51 AM
That's so terrible :(

Crazy Canuck
Sep 16th, 2002, 05:52 AM
How awful :sad:

Sep 16th, 2002, 05:57 AM
Unbelievable :mad:

It's a scary, scary world.....

Sep 16th, 2002, 06:42 AM
yeah it is now most likely that they accidently pour rat poison into the soya bean milk :saD:

what depressed me the most is that the owner actually knew someone get food poisioning and still serve food to other people on that day

Crazy Canuck
Sep 16th, 2002, 07:04 AM
what depressed me the most is that the owner actually knew someone get food poisioning and still serve food to other people on that day

This is too bad, but I don't think we should blame the owner. He had no way of knowing :sad:

I've worked in many food places, and if someone had gotten food poisoning during the day we wouldn't have closed up shop. I'm not sure what they would have done - likely just assumed it wasn't a mass problem :sigh:

Sep 16th, 2002, 07:09 AM
yeah I know rebecca, it is still sad, cannot imagine how those victim family would feel, one day their fmaily is healthy and happy and look forward to a new day of work/study and suddenly ti is all over

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Sep 16th, 2002, 11:44 AM
:eek: :sad: when i heard about this, i was terrified.... how on earth can you mistake salt and rat poison?!

it's terrible... but it's known that many chinese ppl (especially out in the countries) aren't very good with the hygenic things....

Sep 16th, 2002, 11:49 AM
Thing is, didn't they even taste it? I know that when I was cheffing, I always tasted my food to check the seasoning..

Still, it's a terrible tragedy - All the more so when you think how easily it could have been avoided.. :sad:

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Sep 16th, 2002, 11:53 AM
is this one of the worst food-poisoning episode ever?

Sep 16th, 2002, 01:46 PM
just awful and depressing :sad:

Sep 16th, 2002, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by TheBoiledEgg
just awful and depressing :sad:

Absolutely :sad: