Workers struck down by poison

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 January, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 January, 1995, 12:00am

ALMOST 200 workers from four enterprises in Shenzhen were taken to hospital on Thursday evening after eating vegetables suspected of being contaminated with pesticide.

Quoting information from hospitals, the Hong Kong China News Agency last night reported that a total of 194 people, mostly women, were receiving medical treatment after the incident.

The report did not mention which enterprises the workers came from.

'Apart from four people who were suffering from shock due to serious poisoning, all other workers are in fair condition without imminent danger to their lives,' it said.

The case appeared to be the latest in a spate of vegetable poisonings which has put hundreds of people in hospital in Hong Kong as well as Shenzhen since the summer.

The numbers involved make the latest incident one of the most serious.

The report said officials from the Shenzhen Government had been sent to hospitals to co-ordinate the emergency operation in which additional medical staff, medicine and machinery were deployed.

The incident started Thursday evening when some 20 workers who had eaten in a dining hall in Futian district suffered nausea and headaches.

Other workers who had dined in the same place later reported the same symptoms. They were immediately taken to hospital.

Initial findings showed the patients with suspected pesticide poisoning had eaten contaminated vegetables.

'Police and medical inspectors from Shenzhen have launched an investigation,' the report said.

It added that the hospitals in Shenzhen were still dealing with cases of the poisoning last night.