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October 12, 2010

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Food poisoning tourists on the mend

TEN Shanghai tourists who suffered food poisoning after eating breakfast in a hotel in Sichuan Province will soon be able to leave hospital.

Negotiations over compensation are still continuing, tour organizer Sichuan CYTS Tours said yesterday.

The 10, among about 100 people who were affected, were taken to hospital last Friday after having breakfast at Mingzhu Huayuan Hotel, which is near the Hailuogou Scenic Area.

A tourist from Guangdong Province later died, but none of the Shanghai tourists were in a critical condition.

"Their condition stabilized very quickly, and now they are able to walk," said an official surnamed Jiang from the travel agency. "Once compensation is settled, they can leave the hospital."

Usually both the hotel and travel agency would compensate tourists.

Jiang said some of the party planned to return home immediately, but others were keen to complete their holiday in Sichuan, as they felt much better.

The tourists became ill on the second day of a seven-day trip, during which they were scheduled to visit Hailuogou and Siguniang Mountain.

Sichuan's center for disease control discovered high nitrite content in the food provided by the hotel - noodles, porridge and pickles - and in samples of the victims' vomit.

Results showed that a kilogram of noodles, porridge and pickles contained 10.8, 11.3 and 8.4 grams of nitrite respectively - 500 times more than would be expected. Experts said that 2 or 3 grams would kill an adult.

The victims were shocked by the analysis result. Fortunately, they said, they didn't eat much at breakfast. More people's lives would have been at risk had they eaten lunch or supper.

None of those still in hospital are in a serious condition.

Police are investigating the case.


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