In the category of both stupid and tragic, public security officials in central China’s Hubei Province on Saturday confirmed that a mass food poisoning that killed six people last weekend was caused by misuse of a highly toxic rat poison known as "Dushuqiang".
The investigation found that around midday on Nov. 11, Chen Ruyan, a salvage station worker near the Qingshibei Pump Station of Qinghe Village, Ganjiachang Township of Gong’an County, was preparing lunch. In the process, Chen found the rice dough he was preparing for making tangyuan, a kind of rice dumplings, was quite watery and he decided to add more rice flour.
Unfortunately, he mistook rat poison that had been placed together with other condiments as flour and mixed it into the dough. Two elderly people collapsed and died about 20 minutes after having consumed the rice dumplings. Six others soon developed symptoms of poisoning and were rushed to hospital. Four later died while under care.
Chen, the cook, also died from poisoning.