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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.