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One dead, 61 poisoned after eating wild fruit in SW China
Updated: 2008-12-03 21:05

KUNMING -- A primary school student died and 61 others were poisoned after eating a kind of wild fruit on Monday in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

So far, 50 of the sick students have been released from hospital and the others were still being treated and in stable condition, said Jiang Ren, principal of the Xiding Township Primary School in Xishuangbanna  Autonomous Prefecture of Dai Nationality on Wednesday.

Jiang said a fifth-grader, named Yan Wuzhang, picked some fruits from a wild plant and brought them back to school on Monday. On the same day, another student in Yan's class brought a fragment of the root of a tree, which was believed to be a cure to fever. Then the students in the class ate the fruit and root.

At about 6:00 p.m. Monday, Yan was found unconscious in his dorm room and other students who ate the fruit or the root also developed similar symptoms.

They were sent to hospital immediately but Yan died later on Monday. The other students were transferred to a better hospital in Menghai County.

Doctors and experts from the prefecture went to the school to investigate the cause, as it was not clear if it was the fruit or the root which was poisonous.