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Classes shut in Upi school after insecticide downs about 100 pupils

HEALTH • 14:00 PM Thu May 11, 2023
1
By: 
DXMS RADYO BIDA with reports from John Felix Unson
A soldier carry one of the schoolchildren who experienced dizziness after being exposed to insecticides sprayed onto coconut trees near the school in Upi, Maguindanao del Sur. (LGU photo)

COTABATO CITY - Mayor Rona Piang-Flores of Upi, Maguindanao del Norte has ordered the suspension of classes at Mirab Elementary School where more than 100 children were downed after accidentally inhaling mist of insecticides sprayed to coconut trees nearby.

“This is for decontamination, classes will remain suspended until further notice,” Flores told DXMS Radyo Bida. “I want to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our school children and teachers.”

More than 100 schoolchildren from Grades 1 to 6 were rushed to the Datu Blah District Hospital after complaining of severe stomach pain, nausea and some have vomited inside their classrooms.

“The children were exposed to vindex insecticide sprayed to coconut trees at the back of the school campus,” Flores said.

The Datu Blah District Hospital (DBDH) said in a statement that “identified causative substance was a herbicide which contains organophosphates and aromatic hydrocarbon.”

“As of now, the patients are still under observation as directed by the PGH Poison Management and Control Center,” the DBDH said.

Flores said witnesses told police that a farmer was last seen spraying chemicals onto coconut trees using strong insecticide.  The chemicals were carried by air toward the school buildings, probers theorized.

Flores said a municipal executive order is being prepared to prevent spraying of chemicals to coconuts and other crops near schools during class hours.

“This is to avoid similar incident in the future,” she said. 

 

 

 

 

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