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Coolie Town poisoning survivor says friend who gave him “rum” died

By SNO Staff

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Caleb Joseph (inset photo), a resident of Coolie Town, Marigot, survived the poisoning. * Video still images from HTS and Choice

Caleb Joseph, a resident of Coolie Town, Marigot, is lucky to be alive after drinking a toxic substance that is suspected of causing the death of four people including his close friend who allegedly gave him the liquid to drink.

Joseph told HTS that he experienced severe diarrhea and abdominal pain after ingesting a small amount of the liquid, he thought was rum, at a funeral event last week.

He was rushed to hospital and survived to tell the tale. His friend and the other three victims, who experienced similar symptoms, died between Friday, March 9 and Monday, March 12.

The victims, which include a female and three males, are between 30 and 55 years old, officials said.

Joseph alleged that doctors initially thought that the symptoms were consistent with a viral infection.

“I get a friend of mine, that same partner that die. So he tell me if I want some more rum. I take it. You understand, you know, so when I take it, it was rum for true but I didn’t know what thing it was. But it wasn’t going with me, so I just throw it away. They tell me nothing, nothing. They say is rum we drink. The doctor tell me is nothing happen to me,” he said.

A resident of Coolie Town, Hue “Captain” Rene, told HTS: “Yesterday (Tuesday), they bring two in hospital, but they still alive. But before that there had been one, he still come back.”

He added: “Who give them that to sell, or who was spreading it around? That’s the main thing we want to know. They hiding that. They know, but they hiding.”

The authorities are investigating rumours that the liquid is linked to the theft of alcholic beverages and the toxic substance from a business in the north of the island.

The Ministry of Health, in a statement on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, cautioned members of the public to refrain from drinking alcohol, particularly those from unrecognised sources, until a thorough investigation has determined the type of toxin that resulted in the deaths of the four people.

(17)(3)
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5 comments

  1. i feel sorry for the families that have lost the loved ones. what is interesting about this article and should be noted is the fact that when the resident who may have drunk the substance went to the hospital, he was told that something is in the air. I think that doctors and the st Lucian society should erase that mentality that something is in the air when it comes to medical conditions and treat all case like its a new case. maybe if this was done then one or two lives would have been saved. Also , it appears that the survivor may have been deem as an alcoholic when he reported for medical attention. This again tells us that when it comes to medical attention, it does not matter on personal appearance but all persons must be treated with due care and respect when seeking medical attention..They say is rum we drink according to the resident. Does it really matter if i am drunk when looking for medical attention. proper examination and due care is of urgency when seeking medical attention

    (16)(1)
    • Moral dilemma kills! How many of the individual in the know will own up that they have consumed something which they knew was stolen and suspected it has harmed them and others let alone seek help until it is too late.

      (1)(0)
  2. Name one good thing that's ever happened in coolie town. Just one.

    (3)(1)
  3. Why are they hiding the person or persons who gave or sold them the product. People this is a serious matter, dozens of people could have died, it's bad enough that 4 persons have died, these people have family, friends, love ones, children, wives, husbands. We ought to know that without information, laws cannot be enforced, criminals will win. enough is enough, I pray for everyone involved, please don't buy or take anything from anyone, be vigelent. some people don't want to work to earn a living, without hard work we cannot see a clear path. GOD BLESS.....

    (16)(3)
  4. this thing is so scary right now there. no one will talk where they got that substance from cause the person that has it will most likely face the law. i am pleading to the person or persons who has it that if yall afraid of police arresting yall cause most likely yall thought the substance was rum just through that thing and stop giving it out please.

    (20)(3)

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