Home News Three die in Ritchie after suspected food poisoning

Three die in Ritchie after suspected food poisoning

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The Ritchie community demands answers around the death of three Lesotho nationals who died in Motswedimosha on Friday 15 April, while the fourth one was hospitalised.

Police at the scene. Picture: Supplied

THE RITCHIE community demand answers around the death of three Lesotho nationals who died in Motswedimosha on Friday 15 April. It is suspected they suffered from food poisoning.

The incident has left the community shocked as they felt helpless and could not do anything to help the deceased until the ambulance arrived.

Apparently all four of the men continued to insist that they had only eaten bread and drank tea before the incident.

It is believed that the four rented a shack in a backyard, where they were reportedly seen doing laundry before they started feeling ill.

They said the first ambulance arrived an hour after being called, while the second one arrived half an hour later.

Police spokesperson Captain Olebogeng Tawana confirmed that the Modderriver police have opened an inquest docket into the death of three men in their mid 30’s in Ritchie on Friday,15.

“The cause of the death of the three is unknown.” said Tawana.

The community feels that all lives could have been saved if an ambulance had arrived in time.

One of the community members said she was called at around 3pm to come and help when the men started vomiting and experiencing diarrhoea.

She said there were already many people surrounding the men and trying to help them when she arrived at the scene.

“When we asked them what they had all eaten they all said they had bread and tea.

“The police arrived and I decided to drive around the township to see whether I can spot an ambulance around. Hijacking ambulances usually works for us the community.

“I saw an ambulance in Freedom Park and begged the paramedics to come, and explained to them the seriousness of the matter.

“They refused and said they were on an emergency call-out for labour, and looking for the address they were sent to.

“I also asked them just to come and see in order to at least give us tips on what to do, but they said they could not.

“When I mentioned to them that an ambulance was called they checked on their call-out list and confirmed that our call was recorded, and that another ambulance would be dispersed to the scene,” said the community member.”

She said when she returned to the scene she found the men weaker, with slime coming out of their mouths and noses.

That is when we called the Fire department to come and assist us while we awaited the ambulance.

“They were already very weak and had started wetting themselves.

“When the first ambulance arrived, 2 of the men had already died.

“The other 2 were rushed to hospital after the second ambulance arrived.”

We later learned that one of the hospitalised men died in hospital while the other one was discharged a few days later.

The community indicated that the police left with a woman from Lesotho, who was a witness in the whole ordeal.

It is reported that the police could only access one passport from the men, on the premises.

It was further reported that the police took away samples of the bread and tea, and some of the water that the men had been consuming.

Tawana said no developments were yet reported on the matter as the case is still under investigation.

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