CAIRO: One of more than 500 residents of the Sharqia governorate who were hospitalized Friday over contracting poisoning reportedly died, Youm7 reported Saturday.
Residents of Ibrahimiya city woke up Friday hearing ambulance sirens and warnings through mosque speakers to not drink tap water, after more than 100 persons were hospitalized from drinking tainted water.
Hospitals in Sharqia have received collective poisoning cases since early Friday. As of Saturday morning, the number of patients reached 576; 565 of them were reportedly treated and released, while 11 are still recieving treatment.
More patients are still being transferred to hospital; 25 new suspected cases, mostly children, were reported this morning. Hospital authorities announced the level of poisoning cases ranges from mild to moderate, with many were just suffering hysteria.
The symptoms over which the residents were referred to hospital mostly varied between vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains.
Mahmoud Desouki, one of the treated patients, told Youm7 “I woke up with a severe stomachache and diarrhea, and when I arrived at the hospital my lips were blue.” He added that his wife, his son and his sister were also hospitalized.
“I have witnessed a huge flow of children, women and families at the hospital since early morning,” consultant of food control at the Zaqaziq hospitalSoliman el-Sebaie told Youm7. He added that symptoms appeared on the residents fall under “food poisoning” category, which means they might have contracted “either contaminated water or food unsuitable for human consumption.”
Sebai also denied rumors linking the accident with the sinking of the phosphate barrage in the Nile, saying that “phosphate is not a poisonous chemical and that it does not dissolve in water unless by concentrated acids.”
The founder of the National Center for Clinical and Environmental Toxicology, Mahmoud Mohamed, also excluded the assumed link with the phosphate ship, adding in press statements that “water poisoning might happen when drinking water is mixed with the sewage.”
Officials at the Water Company in Sharqia said the results of examining the drinking water coming from the main water station, which feeds Ibrahimiya and other villages, showed the water “clean and good for human consumption.”
Ibrahimiya residents do not access water directly from taps but through purchased jerry cans. The Water Company said samples of jerry cans’ water “did not meet technical specifications.”
Mohamed Ali, whose two children, wife and brother were hospitalized, said “if the water is clean, then we demand officials to announce the cause of the residents’ poisoning.”
Additional reporting by Hamdy el-Azim, Alaa el-Fekki, Eman Mehana and Fathyea el-Deeb