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April 20, 2013

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Police say 'trivial' matters may be poisoning motive

DISAGREEMENTS over "trivial" matters may have been behind the death by poisoning of a Fudan University student, police said yesterday.

Huang Yang, who died earlier this week, had been ill since April 1 after drinking water from a dispenser in the room he shared with the suspect, a fellow medical postgraduate student surnamed Lin.

"Lin did not get along well with Huang over some trivial things and was displeased with the latter," police said in a statement issued yesterday.

Police have asked a district procuratorate to approve the arrest of Lin for allegedly killed Huang by poisoning him.

According to a preliminary investigation, police said Lin had stolen chemicals from a university lab and injected them into water in the dispenser around noon on March 31.

Huang, 27, drank water from the dispenser the next morning.He told doctors he immediately spat it out as it tasted strange but his health began to fail and he was admitted to Zhongshan Hospital.

Blood tests showed signs of jaundice. Huang fell into a coma and liver failure was diagnosed.

Doctors could not figure out what had caused the sudden deterioration in his health. However, on April 9 another student received a text message from an unknown number saying Huang could have been poisoned by a certain chemical.

That was later revealed to be N-Nitrosodimethylamine, a highly toxic chemical used in laboratories to induce liver disease in rats for cancer experiments.

Police said the message played a crucial role in the investigation as the chemical was found in what remained of the water in the dispenser.

Lin was taken in for questioning and detained on April 12.

Previously, Lin had visited Huang several times and discussed his illness with doctors, according to fellow students.

Huang's condition kept getting worse despite doctors' efforts and he died on Tuesday afternoon from multiple organ failure.

Huang, from Sichuan Province, started a masters program in Fudan University in 2010 and recently passed the admission test for doctoral students.

His speciality was ear, nose and throat while Lin was studying medical imaging, and the two were interning in different hospitals before the incident.


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