Three children of a tribal family have died of an unknown disease within a span of ten minutes at a village in the Saraikela-Kharswan district of Jharkhand, family sources said.
Three-years-old Som Besra, son of Banmali Besra of Kashidih village, died on his way while being taken to a nearby doctor on Friday after he developed cramps in his hands and legs besides running high temperature.
Later, another of Besra's son, five-years-old Sitaram died of similar symptoms, the sources said.
Even as the villagers were busy completing the last rites of the two children, the family suffered another blow as they lost their seven-year-old daughter Basi within few minutes of the second death, they said.
The surviving members of the family were immediately referred to MGM hospital in Jamshedpur for medical check-up, district civil surgeon Shiv Shankar Birua said on Saturday.
Denying that the disease had affected other residents of the village, Birua said, "Though we suspect malaria to be the cause of the deaths, we would prefer to wait for the post-mortem reports."
The district administration has despatched a medical team to investigate the case, official sources said.