NEWS
08/08/2018 10:07 BST | Updated 08/08/2018 10:55 BST

Nine People Die After Eating Contaminated Food At Funeral

It is thought to have contained chemicals used in pesticides.

At least nine people have died and dozens became ill after eating contaminated food at a funeral in the Peruvian Andes.

The food appeared to have contained chemicals used in pesticides, Health Minister Silvia Pessah said on local broadcaster RPP.

Public prosecutors have taken samples of food and beverages served at the funeral for testing, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

Out of the 50 people who became ill at the funeral in the village of San Jose de Ushua on Monday, nine have died and several were in critical condition, Peru’s civil defense agency Indeci said on its website.

Earlier, Indeci tweeted that 10 had died, but the tweet appeared to have been removed.

Indeci said patients were being evacuated from a rural hospital in Ayacucho, a southern Andean region that is home to indigenous Quechua-speaking farmers.

Pessah said there have been two incidents of organophosphate poisoning in the same region in recent months.

In 2013, 23 Indian school children died after eating food contaminated with the pesticide monocrotophos, a substance that belongs to the organophosphate family.