Two kinder­gart­ners die from ‘eat­ing rat poi­son’

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By HU YONGQI huy­ongqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Two chil­dren died from eat­ing rat poi­son while at­tend­ing school at a pri­vate kinder­garten in Yun­nan prov­ince, rais­ing fur­ther con­cerns about the man­age­ment of schools for chil­dren a week af­ter four kinder­gartens were caught ad­min­is­ter­ing pre­scrip­tion drugs to stu­dents with­out the con­sent of par­ents.

At 3:20 pm on Wed­nes­day, one stu­dent at Ji­ajia Kinder­garten in Qi­ubei county was found on the ground un­con­scious as six other stu­dents be­gan vom­it­ing pro­fusely.

Of­fi­cials from the Shuan­g­longy­ing town­ship govern­ment drove the seven chil­dren to the Qi­ubei People’s Hospi­tal to re­ceive treat­ment. Sev­eral am­bu­lances then rushed 76 other stu­dents from the school to the hospi­tal for ex­am­i­na­tions.

By Wed­nes­day night, emer­gency treat­ment failed to save the lives of two stu­dents, Yang Ziyi, 4, and Zhou Yulin, 5. The Qi­ubei Pub­lic­ity Depart­ment said they found tetramine, a poi­son used to kill rats, in their bod­ies. As of press time, it is un­clear if the food pro­vided by the kinder­garten was laced with the poi­son.

Af­ter the ini­tial check­ups, 32 chil­dren were hos­pi­tal­ized. As of Thurs­day morn­ing, three of the 32 chil­dren were still ill from the sus­pected food poi­son­ing and were be­ing treated in the hospi­tal’s in­ten­sive care unit.

Zhao Min­jian, di­rec­tor of the Qi­ubei Depart­ment of Pub­lic­ity, said Ji­ajia Kinder­garten was un­li­censed.

Li Honglin, deputy di­rec­tor of the Qi­ubei Depart­ment of Pub­lic­ity, said the county govern­ment has or­ga­nized an in­ves­ti­ga­tion team, com­pris­ing ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­i­ties and po­lice of­fi­cers, to in­ves­ti­gate the case. As of press time, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was still un­der­way.

The ed­u­ca­tion bureau said in­spec­tions will be con­ducted on all kinder­gartens and pri­mary, mid­dle and high schools to pre­vent any po­ten­tial dan­gers to stu­dents.

In Qi­ubei county, most par­ents send their chil­dren to pri­vate kinder­gartens be­cause of the limited num­ber of govern­ment-funded ones. Thir­teen of 16 kinder­gartens in down­town Wen­shan are run by pri­vate own­ers.

A Qi­ubei of­fi­cial who de­clined to be named said Ji­ajia Kinder­garten didn’t per­form test­ing on its food and didn’t hire a health­care worker, as re­quired by the na­tional reg­u­la­tion on kinder­gartens and other preschool in­sti­tu­tions.

Zhao said the kinder­garten “is still ap­ply­ing for a li­cense” to op­er­ate in the county.

“The Qi­ubei ed­u­ca­tion bureau checked its food sup­ply days ago but didn’t find any prob­lems,” Zhao said.

The county di­rec­tor of pub­lic­ity didn’t re­veal how the govern­ment would com­pen­sate the fam­i­lies of the two vic­tims. Guo Anfei con­trib­uted to this story.

XIN­HUA

A child re­ceives treat­ment for sus­pected food poi­son­ing at a hospi­tal in Wen­shan, Yun­nan prov­ince, on Thurs­day. Two chil­dren died af­ter in­jest­ing rat poi­son at a ru­ral kinder­garten in the prov­ince on Wed­nes­day. Au­thor­i­ties are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing where the rat poi­son came from.

XIN­HUA

Two of the 32 chil­dren are safe with their par­ents af­ter be­ing treated for eat­ing rat poi­son in Yun­nan prov­ince on Wed­nes­day. A se­ries of se­cu­rity prob­lems in Chi­nese kinder­gartens has raised con­cerns about the man­age­ment of preschools.

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