The story appears on

Page A2

April 17, 2013

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Poisoned student dies in hospital

The motive behind the death of Fudan University medical student Huang Yang remained a mystery last night.

Huang Yang died yesterday afternoon from multiple organ failure, 15 days after he drank water laced with a toxic chemical.

Doctors at Zhongshan Hospital at first could not figure out what had caused his sudden liver failure, until April 9 when a fellow student received a message from an unknown number saying the 28-year-old could have been poisoned by a certain chemical, Xinhua news agency reported.

The message played a crucial role in the police investigation, Xinhua said, and subsequently a suspect, surnamed Lin, was taken into custody.

Huang, from Sichuan Province, enrolled in Fudan University in 2010 for a master program and recently passed the admission test for doctoral students as top scorer.

Online rumors that Lin, also a postgraduate student at Fudan's medical school, could have been jealous of Huang's performance in the PhD admission test were rejected by the university.

"The two are in different research fields and were interning in different clinical departments of different hospitals," said Fang Ming, a Fudan spokesman. "But the exact motive should be released by the police."

Speculation that Huang and Lin were rivals in love was also scotched, with Huang's father saying his son didn't have a girlfriend.

On April 3, two days after Huang had taken ill, his father spent the night in Huang's room after he came to Shanghai to visit his son in hospital. He met Lin and a third roommate and did not find anything suspicious, he told reporters yesterday.

The toxic compound found in the water in the dispenser has been identified as N-Nitrosodimethylamine, a highly toxic chemical normally used in laboratories.

The chemical is usually used to induce liver disease in rats for cancer experiments.

Zeng Bubing, a professor of East China University of Science and Technology, said 58 grams of the chemical could kill 500 grams of rats within 24 hours.

Wang Hao, associate professor of pharmacology at Jiao Tong University, said usually 15 grams per kilogram of rats is used to ensure liver damage while keeping the rodents alive.

Fudan said it was not possible for the chemical to have been stolen from its laboratories as it was strictly regulated.

The chemical is available online, however.

Huang felt sick on April 1 after drinking water from the dispenser in his dormitory room.

Huang told doctors he had immediately spat out the water because it tasted strange.

He later went to Zhongshan Hospital but his condition worsened.

The hospital said he didn't see a doctor until he felt pain in his abdomen, and he had even performed surgery at another hospital where he was doing his internship.

Blood tests later showed signs of jaundice. Huang fell into a coma and was diagnosed with liver failure. Though a group of medical experts tried everything to save his life, his condition deteriorated.

Police detained Huang's roommate Lin last Friday after the toxic chemical compound was found in residue of the water.

The incident recalled a 1994 case at Tsinghua University when Zhu Ling, a chemistry student, was found to be suffering from thallium poisoning. She was left unable to take care of herself. A roommate was investigated but the case was never solved.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend