15 people in isolated Andhra tribal village die after food, water poisoning
Officials say the people suffered food poisoning after partaking a marriage feast in the village, located in a forested area.Updated: Jun 26, 2017 18:51 IST
Fifteen people in a remote tribal village died recently after the bodies of wild animals that they hunted contaminated their water supply.
The deaths took place in Chaparai hamlet, a region in the East Godavari district hills that is not connected either by roads or telephone communications.
Five of the deaths were of people who ate the meat of wild animals at a wedding, and the remaining are believed to have been poisoned by drinking water from a stream contaminated by the carcasses of the animals, district collector Kartikeya Mishra said. The deaths took place over 10-12 days and included four children. Thirty two people were taken in sick.
“Instead of bringing the deaths to the notice of the staff of the primary health centre located in the village down the hill, they buried the bodies in the hamlet itself and continued to suffer,” Mishtra told Hindustan Times.
Chaparai, about 130 km from Rampachodavaram, is inhabited by primitive tribal groups who eke out a living by hunting wild animals deep in the forests and do not like contact with outsiders. The region has a population of 325.
The administration came to know about the deaths after some people from Boddagandi village downhill went to the hamlet and alerted officials.
“There is no communication facility like telephone to the tribal hamlet nor is there an approach road. Our health and revenue official teams managed to reach the hamlet braving heavy rains and shifted the sick tribals to the hospital at Rampachodavaram. Except for one boy suffering from malaria and four other children who have extremely low haemoglobin count, all others are out of danger,” the collector said, adding that the sick children were shifted to Rajahmundry for better treatment.
The collector said there were four borewells in the hamlet with hand pumps, but the tribal people preferred using water from the local stream. “We have been sensitising them to come down the hill and make use of the health and schooling facilities provided by the government, but they don’t listen,” Mishra said.
Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu directed the officials to arrange for special medical camps. He also had a teleconference with the officials and instructed the district administration to announce Rs 5 lakh compensation to the kin of each of the deceased, if the deaths are related to viral fevers.
Deputy chief minister N Chinna Rajappa is reviewing the situation in the area.
First Published: Jun 26, 2017 15:29 IST