44 kids mistakenly consume toilet cleaner, declared safe

By Giang Chinh   March 7, 2019 | 07:39 am GMT+7
A mistaken assumption that a packet of toilet cleaning powder was Thai tea hospitalized 44 children in northern Vietnam.
More than 10 students have been released from the hospital but more than 30 students still have to stay until this morning. Photo by Giang Chinh.

Some of the 44 students who were hospitalized in Hai Duong Province after consuming toilet cleaning powder. Photo by Giang Chinh

On Monday morning, during recess at the Bac An Primary School in Hai Duong Province, a boy named Quyet found a red plastic package with Korean and English letters on a teacher’s motorbike parked in the school yard.

He tore open the bag and called his friends over to try some, saying ‘this is Thai lipton tea.’

Quyet's friends took the packet to their class and shared it with their classmates as well as some first and second graders, saying ‘this is milk tea’ and ‘calcium sticky rice."

"It was a white powder, looking like sugar, but it tasted sour and spicy. When I put it in my mouth, it was so terrible I had to spit it out. A moment later, my mouth and tongue were burning," one unnamed student said.

In all, 44 students in two fifth grade classes suffered abdominal pain, nausea, and burning in the mouth, and had to be hospitalized, local reports said. They did not mention what happened to the first and second graders who were given the powder.

After two days of treatment at Hai Duong General Hospital, more than 10 students were released. While the remaining were in stable condition.

The packaging of the powder toilet bowl cleaner that sent 44 students to hospital in Hai Duong Province, 1.5 hours east of Hanoi.

The package of pre-dredging toilet cleaning powder that was consumed by around 50 primary school students in Hai Duong Province who were told it was edible. The accident happened in Hai Duong Province, one and a half hours east of Hanoi.

The management of Bac An Primary School coordinated with families and hospitals to provide them with treatment. The teacher said she’d bought the powder in the morning before coming in to work and hung it on her motorbike. She said she did not imagine that the children would think it was food and eat it.

On Monday afternoon, Le Quang Duc, deputy director of the Hai Duong General Hospital, said most of the children had recovered and could be discharged the next day. Two of them, however, would remain in the hospital for a longer period because they had ingested the chemicals, leading to ulcers in the esophagus and stomach.

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