Investigators still do not
know what caused the deaths of six boarding school students in a village in
Shanxi Province, though an analysis of vomit samples has ruled out the
possibility of food poisoning.
"The six must have eaten some poisonous substance at the same time, and they
all died shortly afterwards," Yang Zhiping, the Communist Party secretary of
Puxian County, Linfen, in Shanxi Province, was cited by the Guangzhou-based
Nanfang Daily as saying yesterday.
The four girls and two boys were students at a primary boarding school in
Nanyao Village, Puxian County.
They said they were feeling sick around 8:30 pm on Monday and then died
before being sent to hospital at 9:40 pm.
Because they became ill after supper it was first thought they had died of
The five other students at the tiny school of just 11 students were
transferred to a nearby school.
Police are still investigating the case.
Linfin Vice-Mayor Miao Yuanli rushed to Puxian on Monday night to address the
Local police along with educational, health and epidemic prevention
authorities as well as officials from the food and drug administration are all
investigating the incident, said Miao.
The parents of the six children were said to be devastated by the loss and
are being looked after at a hospital.
The provincial education bureau has ordered schools to step up food safety
inspections and increase awareness of health issues among students and staff at
It also ordered schools to ban canteen staff from entering food-processing
and storage rooms.
"The tragic event has set off alarm bells in our schools, and we must learn a
lesson from it," said Yang.