MANSEHRA: A spring in Khabal village of Oghi tehsil on Tuesday caused death to two siblings and hospitalized 3 people due to contamination.

District health officer Dr Shahzad Ali Khan told reporters, ““We declared emergency in local hospitals following the death of two siblings over the consumption of a spring’s contaminated water as suggested by preliminary investigation. Five children of Gulab Khan had fetched water from a spring close to their Khabal village. They also fell ill after consuming that water and were shifted to Charbagh basic health unit, where two, including Sadia, 11, and Mohammad Safdar, 3, died. The rest, including Mohammad Akhtar, Gul Nawaz and Maimoona, were referred to the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital, Mansehra, where the condition of Gul Nawaz was reported to be critical.”

According to the DHO, loud speakers in mosque were used to warn people about the contaminated water. “Besides other possibilities, we are also investigating if something poisonous was added to the spring,” he said adding that the investigations to study the cause of death had been already started.

He also asserted that a team of sanitation workers and medics had been dispatched to the village, while an extra supply of medicines had been sent to the hospitals. The DHO said that to prevent a possible epidemic of gastroenteritis disease, the people of Khabal and adjoining villages were being educated on the ways to maintain hygiene.

The department had collected samples of the spring’s water, which would be sent to the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, for detailed laboratory examination.