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Death toll in food poisoning incident at Karnataka temple rises to 13

The death toll in the food poisoning incident at a temple in Chamarajnagar district rose to 13 with two more deaths on Sunday, Health Department officials said.

Joint Director Health Department Suresh Shastry said two deaths were reported at Apollo Hospital Sunday.

The deceased were identified as Mageshwari, 36, and Salamma, 35, he said, adding with the two deaths, the toll rose to 13.

One Sharat was critical, he said.

The official said four patients were on ventilator at Suyogh hospital and two of them were critical. He said one more person might need the assisted ventilation.

The tragedy occurred on Friday morning at Sulavadi village where special pooja was conducted at the Maramma Devi temple for groundbreaking ceremony. Later, prasad was distributed and those who consumed it started complaining of stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea-like symptoms. They were rushed to hospitals in Bengaluru, Mysuru as well as neighbouring towns.

At least 100 people are still hospitalised, sources in the Health Department said.

A sample of prasad was sent for lab test the same day.

Police are probing suspected foul play in the incident and the villagers have urged the government to take over the temple management as stories are doing rounds that factional feud within the temple management led to the prasad’s poisoning.

It has also emerged that the CCTV cameras installed in the temple were defunct. Two people have been detained.

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