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MP tragedy: Death toll in suspected food poisoning at Indore ashram rises to 5; 38 hospitalised

Presently, 38 children are receiving treatment for symptoms of food poisoning at Government Chacha Nehru Hospital. Four of these children are in critical condition and have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), according to district collector Asheesh Singh.

Madhya Pradesh tragedy: Death toll in suspected food poisoning at Indore ashram rises to 5; 38 hospitalised AJR
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First Published Jul 3, 2024, 12:40 PM IST

Officials on Wednesday (July 3) confirmed that the death toll from the suspected food poisoning incident at Shri Yugpurush Dham Baudhik Vikas Kendra in Indore has risen to five. Two more children succumbed, raising the alarm about the safety and health standards at the facility.

Presently, 38 children are receiving treatment for symptoms of food poisoning at Government Chacha Nehru Hospital. Four of these children are in critical condition and have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), according to district collector Asheesh Singh.

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The tragic sequence began on June 30, with two children reported dead, followed by another two on July 1. The latest fatalities were reported on Tuesday, heightening concerns among health officials and the local community.

"A total of 38 children are undergoing treatment, with four in the ICU. We are monitoring the ashram closely for the next 48 hours. If any further symptoms are observed, affected children will be promptly admitted to the hospital," Collector Singh said.

The investigation into the incident is underway, with samples collected from the ashram being analysed. "We will receive the examination reports today, which will help us determine the cause of the infection. An investigation committee has been constituted to probe the matter thoroughly," Singh said.

Initial reports suggested that the first child who died on June 30 might not have succumbed to the infection, pending postmortem results.

State Ministers Kailash Vijayvargiya and Tulsi Silavat visited the hospitalised children on Tuesday night.

"All the children in the ashram are mentally underdeveloped and handicapped. This ashram houses children from across Madhya Pradesh and is the only institution of its kind doing commendable work. However, the cause of this incident is being investigated. Most children are suffering from diarrhea, common in this season. We have collected water and food samples from the site," Vijayvargiya said.

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In response to the crisis, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan dispatched the ministers to oversee the situation. Vijayvargiya noted, "We have instructed the Collector and Commissioner to develop a comprehensive master plan to upgrade the institution's living standards and improve food quality to prevent such incidents in the future."

The ashram, operated by an NGO, is home to approximately 200 children, including those with disabilities and orphans. The children, aged between five and fifteen, are now under strict medical supervision as authorities continue to investigate the cause of this tragic outbreak.

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