A celebration turned into tragedy at a slum in Borivli late on Monday when several hutment dwellers consumed meals after a religious function and fell ill. Nine of the victims were later rushed to Borivli’s Bhagwati Hospital with symptoms of food poisoning.
The slum dwellers living along IC Colony in Ganpathpatil Nagar had come together to celebrate a ‘Satyanarayan Puja’, which was followed by a ‘prasad’ of puri-bhaji and sweet boondi for nearly 300 residents.
But around midnight children began complaining of nausea, which was followed by bouts of vomiting and loose motions. “When we headed home after the function was over, Deepak started vomiting continuously,” said Mundrika Jha, the mother of the five-year-old. He was admitted to Bhagwati Hospital’s general ward and put on a glucose drip.
Three-year-old Binita Jha, who has also been admitted to the same hospital, too had the same complaint. Residents estimate that nearly 20 residents complained of uneasiness after the meal.
But, according to hospital authorities, nine residents were brought in from the same locality, in what they suspect is a case of food poisoning. “The patients are on glucose drips and will be kept in the hospital for 24 hours before they are discharged,” said medical superintendent of Bhagwati Hospital, Dr M Wadiwala.
The BMC ward office which was alerted by hospital authorities investigated the incident on Monday. “Most complaints of food poisoning come from mava or mithai, but since the food that they had was home-cooked, it is difficult to say from where they got the infection,” said N V Pai, assistant commissioner of BMC’s Dahisar ward.
The police said the food was cooked in the house of Narendra Jha, who also lives in the same locality.