Four members of a family in Ilorin have been feared dead after eating `amala’ meal, suspected to be poisonous.
The incident happened at Magaji-Ogo community behind Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, in Ilorin West Local Government Area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that four others who took from the meal, had also been hospitalised at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).
A source told NAN that the victims took the meal on Sunday night before three of them were found dead the following morning.
According to him, the fourth casualty, who was the head of the family, died on Wednesday.
“Those feared dead are the family head, his sister and two children, while those recuperating in the hospital are the mother and three other children.
“The corpses of the deceased had been buried in accordance with Islamic rite. They were eight that took the meal.
“Though we are not sure yet of the cause of death, the meal was taken alongside amphibian and there is a suspicion that they died of poisoning.
“Officials from the state Ministry of Health were in the community to take samples of the meal for test but nothing was yet to be said of the findings,’’ the source said.
Dr Oluwatosin Fakayode, Director, Public Health and Disease Control in the state Ministry of Health, also confirmed the incident.
He, however, said that the ministry was yet to identify the cause of the “ugly and unfortunate occurrence.”
Fakayode told NAN that samples from the meal were taken for laboratory investigation, which would be out within the next 24 hours.
“As it stands, it is difficult to say the cause until the result is out.
“However, we are definite that it is food poison because of the symptoms, but we are not sure of the food item that is culpable.
“We learnt they took these amphibian that they hawk around with it. So we are not sure if it is the source of the death because some of them are poisonous.
“Though we have not identified the culprit in terms of whether it is organism or chemical, definitely, it is a symptom of food poison.
“But our suspicion is the amphibian. It could be preservatives that were used on the items that were used for the meal,’’ he said.
BY KHADIJAH YAKUBU