23 fall ill from food poisoning in SW China

Updated: 2007-12-20 19:58

KUNMING -- Twenty-three people were confirmed sick, including three seriously, from food poisoning on Monday in southwest China's Yunnan Province, local government sources reported on Thursday.

At 7:30 a.m. on Monday, 23 people, including an 81-year old woman and a four-year-old child, fell ill after eating "tangyuan", a rice dumpling soup, for breakfast in Wanyaoshu Village of Luxi County.

The 23 people were Ma Raolin, a middle-aged villager, and his family and friends, who were preparing for the funeral ceremony of Ma's wife in Ma's house.

The poisoned were rushed to the county hospital, where three are in a critical condition.

Officials from the provincial disease control center collected samples of the soup and found the food poisoning had been caused by a toxic pesticide known as "Leguo". They are investigating how it managed to get into the soup but details have not been released.

On November 11, six people were killed and two others hospitalized in a similar food poisoning case in central China's Hubei Province. They also ate "tangyuan" but in this case the cook mistook rat poison for flour.

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