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Toxic Holi colour lands 16 children in ICU
Published on 13 Mar. 2009 12:26 AM IST
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In a shocking Holi-related accident, over 50 children in the central suburb of Ambernath were admitted to hospital with chemical-related “poisoning” on Wednesday afternoon. Sixteen of them are critical. The children initially suffered stomach cramps and began vomiting and had to be rushed to Ulhasnagar central hospital in a semi-conscious state. According to doctors, the yellow colour the children had bought for the Holi revelry may have contained chemicals that could have either seeped into their bodies through the pores of their skin or may have been mistakenly ingested. The children are in the age group of seven to 13 years and belong to the working class settlements of Balaji Nagar, Bhaskar Nagar and New Bhendipada in Ambernath (west). “Sixteen of the children are said to be critical and have been shifted to the civil hospital and Jupiter hospital in Thane,” Vasant Davkhare, deputy chairperson of the state legislative council, told TOI. Thane civil hospital sources said the three children shifted to the private hospital were turning blue and had been put on oxygen. “The children probably purchased some toxic colours from a neighbourhood shop. After a day’s play, when they went back home and had lunch without properly washing their hands, the harmful chemicals started acting up. All the children suffered stomach cramps and started throwing up,” said Davkhare, who visited the hospital. Krishna Thorat (36), a resident of Bhaskar Nagar, was panic-stricken when his three daughters started showing signs of distress. “I inquired with my daughters and they said it was the dark yellow colour that was acting on them. They said most of the children had used the same colour — when it was smeared on their face, it tasted sweet. They showed me the pouch of yellow colour used by them and I have given it to the police for further investigation,” Thorat said. The toxic colour, which may have been purchased from one of the many chemical and dye companies around Ambernath, is believed to have done the damage.

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