Second Afghan child dies after eating toxic mushrooms in Poland
Authorities have pushed back on the idea of negligence
A second child of an Afghan family who had been evacuated from Kabul to Poland has died after eating soup containing the death cap mushroom.
Unaware of their dangerous properties, the family gathered them from a forest outside their quarantine centre. Though the properties of the death cap are not instantaneous, Public Health Insider says that vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhoea can occur anywhere between 6 and 24 hours after ingestion.
The six-year-old boy had received an emergency liver transplant at Poland’s main children’s hospital but doctors were unable to save him and he was pronounced dead on Friday, September 3.
On September 2, the younger brother had also died due to health complications brought on by the mushroom. Their 17-year-old sister was also being treated but was released after recovering.
Doctors believe this was due to her higher body mass which allowed her to push through the illness better.
As a result, local authorities are investigating whether negligence led to the deaths.
Prosecutors are questioning the centre’s staff about what led to the family's need to forage for the mushrooms. This could pose serious criminal charges for negligence, says Aleksandra Skrzyniarz, a spokesperson for the prosecutors’ office in Warsaw.
The offence carries a maximum prison term of three years, she said.
However, Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said that the poisonings were a “tragedy, but did not result from any negligence at the centre.”
Authorities have also pushed back on the idea that rations were insufficient, causing the family to venture into the wilderness to find food. Despite their claims, four Afghan men were hospitalised after eating poisonous mushrooms in a separate centre.
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