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Chemical for bed bugs killed Quetta siblings, Karachi police finds


News Desk |

Karachi police on Wednesday, 13th March, identified a toxic chemical as the cause of death of five siblings and their aunt whose demise last month had initially been linked to the food they had consumed from a local restaurant.

Speaking to the press, DIG Karachi South Sharjeel Kareem Kharal said that the six had died after being exposed to toxic chemical in Qasr-i-Naz, an official guesthouse where the victims had stayed on their arrival in Karachi from Baluchistan. The room had been fumigated for bed bugs hours before the family moved in. Nine persons, including the chief engineer of the guesthouse, have been arrested on the charge of manslaughter.

According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Gulshan Tahir Noorani, the siblings, ranging between the ages of 1.5 years and 10-years-old, and their parents had consumed food from a restaurant Naubahar in the Saddar area.

DIG Kharal said empty bottles of Aluminum Phosphide were found in Qasr-e-Naz store. “Aluminum Phosphide is a very hazardous and poisonous chemical,” said the DIG. “It directly attacks the nervous system of anyone who respires in a place where it is used, leading to their death, whether they are human or animal.” The reports of Punjab Forensic Science Agency revealed that aluminum phosphide was found in the victims’ organs.

Aluminum Phosphide due to its toxic nature is not normally used but if it has to be, only a licensed person can use it for fumigation. According to investigators, the staff of the lodge had been using the chemical for several years, illegally, without filling the requisition forms.

Read more: Five siblings die of alleged food poisoning: Incapable SFA exposed?

The children of the family slept on the floor had inhaled the poisonous chemical that was also found on the boxed of biryani from Naubahar restaurant. There was a high amount of powder present on the floor which could have gotten mixed in the food and become fatal for the children.

The staff of the lodges tried to hide the evidence by washing the room, however, even after the cleaning, forensic experts found around half a tube of the chemical from the room.

Five children of the same family had passed away in Karachi on Friday 22nd February after allegedly eating contaminated food, local press reported. According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Gulshan Tahir Noorani, the siblings, ranging between the ages of 1.5 years and 10-years-old, and their parents had consumed food from a restaurant Naubahar in the Saddar area.

Read more: ‘Expensive’ poisonous food takes life of two minors: who is responsible?

All five siblings died, while their aunt was kept under intensive care who also eventually succumbed to her illness. DIG South Sharjeel Kharal briefed that according to the father, the family had consumed food from the said restaurant after which the lady and children fell ill. They were rushed to a private hospital where the children and their aunt had expired. Their mother after treatment was discharged.