KARACHI: Five children died of suspected food poisoning after dining at a restaurant located in Karachi’s Saddar area, police said on Friday.
According to police officials, five children, whose ages ranged from 1.5 to 9 years, died of food poisoning after dining at an eatery in Saddar. Their mother and paternal aunt are critically ill and under treatment at a private hospital.
The deceased included 1.5-year-old Abdul Ali, four-year-old Aziz Faisal, six-year old Aliya, seven-year-old Tauheed and nine-year-old Salvi.
According to police officials, the family reached Karachi from Quetta at 11:30pm last night and were staying at a guest house in Saddar. “The family had called in for food from a nearby restaurant at their guest house,” officials said.
“The family had also eaten food at a restaurant in Khuzdar before reaching Karachi,” the officials added. “Later at night, the five children, their mother and paternal aunt started feeling sick and were taken to a private hospital,” the officials further said.
Superintendent Police Gulshan Tahir Noorani said the cause of the children’s death appears to be food poisoning, according to initial investigation into the incident. Further investigation is under way, he added.
The restaurant in Saddar has been temporarily sealed by the Sindh Food Authority and samples of food taken for chemical examination. The Sindh Food Authority also submitted an initial report to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on the incident.
Police said they have taken 18 employees of the eatery in question into custody.
Deputy Inspector General South Sharjeel Kharal said police would try to track down samples of all the food that the family had consumed on their journey from Quetta to Karachi.
The incident comes after two siblings, 18-month-old Ahmed and Muhammad, 5, died from a suspected case of food poisoning in November last year. The ill-fated children had dined out with their mother at a local eatery in the city’s upscale Zamzama area the previous night.