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China kindergarten poisoning: Rat poison was on snacks, two kindergartners dead

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China kindergarten poisoning has left two children dead and over 30 more sickened in a mass poisoning at a kindergarten in southwestern China, authorities said Friday. According to a report from The Associated Press today, as carried on MSN News, “investigators identified the toxic substance as a powerful rat poison.”

It is unclear as to how so many young children came into contact and ingested the poison on Wednesday of this week, but officials have already tested the cafeteria food at the Jiajia Kindergarten in the Yunnan province and determined that the food was free of contaminates.

The possibility that the poisoning was done intentionally has not been ruled out, officials said.

The poison that was found used in the school had been outlawed because of potential threat to human health, but it still can be found in many households.

Thirty-two children in all were poisoned and had to be treated. Seven children were determined to be in critical condition and of those, two children, both girls, ages 4 and 5, died after failing to respond to emergency medical treatments.

Update: Chinese news source news.xinhuanet.com is now reporting that tetramine, an illegal neurotoxic rat poison, was what the children ingested. Says the source:

“Investigators found the toxic substance in snacks brought to Jiajia Kindergarten by a student who shared the food with other children, said Zhao Minjian, an official in charge of media communication with the Qiubei County Government.”

Tetramine was banned throughout China in 1991 due to its danger to people and livestock. The chemical is extremely lethal; as little as 5 milligrams of the substance can sicken or kill a person.

Officials are investigating the family of the boy that brought the food into the school.

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