Eleven die after eating 'toxic' rice in India

Photo: AFP

Eleven people have died after eating rice that had likely been contaminated with a toxic substance at a Hindu temple ceremony, a health official said Saturday.

Another 29 people were critically ill and undergoing emergency treatment across various hospitals in Mysore, a city in the state of Karnataka.

"11 people have died so far and 93 others are hospitalised. Out of them, 29 are on ventilator support," said K. H. Prasad, the health officer for Chamraj Nagar district where the temple is located.

"It is likely that some toxic substance got mixed with the rice. The samples have been sent for forensic testing," Prasad told AFP.

The patients were being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea and respiratory distress, Prasad added.

State Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy expressed grief over the incident and announced a compensation of 500,000 rupees (around $7,000) each to the families of the victims.

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