An 11-year-old girl reportedly died from poisoning after eating crackers made out of pufferfish in Bali’s Buleleng regency, while a 5-year-old is being treated at the local hospital for the same reason.
In a statement issued last night, Buleleng Police spokesman Gede Sumarjaya said the incident occurred yesterday morning, when the older victim, identified as PAMS, visited the younger victim, identified as KATP.
“When [PAMS] arrived at [KATP’s] home, both of them ate crackers made out of pufferfish skin that was put inside a container,” Sumarjaya said.
About an hour later, both victims started vomiting and became weak, and were later taken to the local community clinic (Puskesmas). They were both then moved to the local hospital, where PAMS was briefly treated before she was pronounced dead. KATP is reportedly conscious and being treated at Buleleng General Hospital.
Authorities suspect PAMS died due to the poison tetrodotoxin, which is present inside pufferfish and deadly to humans. There is no known antidote to the poison. Though the fish is prepared as a delicacy in some countries — it is called fugu in Japan — it requires careful preparation in order to remove the toxic parts.
“Families of the victims are close, and both parties are not taking issue with what happened, no charges were filed, and they accepted this as an unfortunate disaster,” Sumarjaya said.
In 2006, two children in Buleleng died hours after eating crackers made out of pufferfish. It was suspected then that the crackers were not prepared correctly and still contained the fish’s deadly poison.
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