KARACHI: Soon after Faisal Zaman's family had buried their five children who died allegedly of food poisoning on Friday, another tragedy struck the family when Zaman's sister, Beena Badruddin, who was brought to the hospital in critical condition along with the children, died on Saturday morning.
The bodies of the deceased children were sent to Quetta on an aircraft on Friday night and their burial took place there on Saturday. It was not long after the burial of children that their aunt, Beena, also died. She was shifted to the Edhi morgue at Sohrab Goth from where her body was taken to Quetta by the family.
Meanwhile, South Zone SSP Pir Muhammad Shah, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that statements of 32 people including the employees of Naubahar Restaurant had been recorded. He, however, said that the owners of the restaurant were not cooperating with the police thus creating difficulties for the investigation team.
The food samples collected from the restaurant, the guest house and the family's car have been sent to the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Karachi and SGS Swiss laboratory in Karachi, he said adding that further samples will sent to Lahore for testing on Monday.
Five siblings die from suspected food poisoning in Karachi
Besides, he informed that police personnel have been deployed at the room at Qasr-e-Naz guest house where the family had stayed. Investigations revealed that
The room where the family had stayed was sprayed before it being occupied by the ill-fated family. He stated that the investigation team suspected a high amount of chemical in the spray. However, the actual situation will be revealed only after the reports arrive, he said.
Pointing out to another problem, the SSP said that the investigation team could not find the packets of chips and juice which the children had consumed at Hub Chowki. They did visit the Chowki and gathered information from shopkeepers and vendors selling juice and chips but no evidence has been found as yet, he added.
The victims' father, Faisal Zaman had come to Karachi from Quetta with his wife, Nida Faisal and their five children, one-and-a-half year-old Abdul Ali, four-year-old Aziz Faisal, six-year-old Alina, seven-year-old Tauheed and nine-year-old Salwa on Thursday night. Faisal's sister, Beena Badruddin, also accompanied them on the trip.
En route, the family stopped at a friend's house in Khuzdar for lunch. They then left for Karachi, briefly stopping at Hub Chowki to get snacks for the children. The snacks, according to the Faisal, included packaged chips and juices for children. The family arrived in Karachi late on Thursday evening and checked into the government officers' lodge, Qasr-e-Naz.
Later that evening, Faisal bought biryani from the Naubahar Restaurant in Saddar.
Several hours later, Nida complained of feeling uneasy and Faisal took her to the Aga Khan University Hospital.
While still at hospital, Faisal received a call from his sister, Beena, who too complained about the condition of children and the uneasiness she too was suffering.
Faisal rushed back to Qasr-e-Naz, and took his sister and children to the hospital where the doctors pronounced the children dead on arrival. Beena was immediately shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in critical condition where she died on Saturday morning.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2019.