Two siblings die after drinking contaminated spring water

MANSEHRA: Two siblings died and three more were hospitalised after they drank contaminated water from a spring in Khabal village of Oghi tehsil here on Tuesday.

“We declared emergency in local hospitals following the death of two siblings over the consumption of a spring’s contaminated water as suggested by preliminary investigation,” district health officer Dr Shahzad Ali Khan told reporters.

Five children of Gulab Khan had fetched water from a spring close to their Khabal village. They all fell ill after consuming that water and were shifted the Charbagh basic health unit, where two, including Sadia, 11, and Mohammad Safdar, 3, died.

The rest, including Mohammad Akhtar, Gul Nawaz and Maimoona, were referred to the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital, Mansehra, where the condition of Gul Nawaz was reported to be critical.

The DHO said following the deaths, villagers used mosque loudspeakers to warn others against using the spring’s water.

He said the department had begun investigation to ascertain the cause of the deaths.

“Besides other possibilities, we are also investigating if something poisonous was added to the spring,” he said.

Dr Shahzad said a team of sanitation workers and medics had been dispatched to the village, while an extra supply of medicines had been sent to the hospitals.

He said the department had collected samples of the spring’s water, which would be sent to the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, for detailed laboratory examination.

The DHO said the people of Khabal and adjoining villages were being educated on the ways to maintain hygiene to prevent outbreak of gastroenteritis.