Three more people that ate from the ‘poisoned’ cassava flour meal in Okene, Kogi State have lost their lives, bringing the toll to nine. Two of them, a 42-year-old woman and 10-year-old boy, died on Thursday at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, the acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Olatunde Alabi told newsmen.
Alabi said that three victims of the cassava flour meal were rushed to the hospital in critical condition on Wednesday morning from Ogaminana, Adavi Local Government Area, but two of them died Thursday morning. He said that the boy died at about 4 a.m while the woman gave up the ghost at about 10 a.m.
Alabi said that the third victim, a girl of about 13 years, is in critical condition. The chief medical director confirmed that seven people actually died between Monday and Tuesday, and not six as speculated.
According to him, the cause of the deaths are yet to be ascertained but the hospital is suspecting cyanide poison from the cassava meal.
He said, “Clinically, we are saying we are suspecting cyanide poison.”He said that the hospital staff did their best to save their lives but the worst still happened.
He said that the state government appeared determined to ascertain the real cause of the death of the people as it has decided to send the blood samples of the victims for detoxincology test in South Africa.
A woman, three of her children and three of neighbours’ children lost their lives between Monday (Oct. 31) and Tuesday (Nov. 1), after a meal of cassava flour (amala).
The woman was said to have brought the cassava flour from her farm at Uhuepe village on October 30, from which she prepared a dinner (white amala) for her family.
She also extended the meal to the children of her neighbours.
The woman and three of her children died in their house on Oct. 31, while the three children of their neighbours who partook in the meal died at the Okene General Hospital on Nov. 1.