Pupil (9) dies after eating ‘poisoned’ snacks at school

A nine-year-old pupil from Emakhandeni Primary School died of alleged food poisoning after eating snacks, Wednesday, CITE has learnt.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele confirmed the incident.

The pupil shared the snacks with two other friends who have since been admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital where they are receiving treatment.

The minor who brought the snacks did not eat, she gave them to her three classmates who complained that they “did not taste nice.”

The now deceased subsequently started vomiting which drew the attention of the teachers and an ambulance was called.

She was pronounced dead upon arrival at Mpilo.

“We are investigating a case of food poisoning which occurred in Emakhandeni, Bulawayo. On February 16, 2022, at around 10 AM a juvenile in grade 4 and her three classmates were seated on a veranda outside their class. One took out a packet of tomato flavoured “Hello” snacks from her satchel,” she said.

“The now deceased took the snacks from her lap, opened the packet and ate with the other two. The owner of the snacks told the now deceased that the snacks did not taste nice which prompted her (deceased) to crush some of the snacks, mixed them with mahewu and drank the mixture.”

Ass Insp Msebele said the other juvenile also took out homemade popcorn from her bag, mixed them with the remaining snacks and shared with the deceased and the other girl whilst the girl who brought the snacks did not eat the mixture.  

“After eating the popcorn, the now deceased and the other two girls started vomiting which attracted the attention of their class teacher who attended to them. The teacher called the deceased’s grandfather who was attending a meeting at the school,” she said.  

“The grandfather found the now deceased shivering and froth coming out of her mouth and nose. They took her to a tree shade where they performed first aid while waiting for an ambulance. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital while the other two were admitted to that pediatric ward and are in a stable condition. “

She urged parents to check and monitor what their children eat and avoid eating food from other people.

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