Poland probes deadly mushroom poisoning of Afghan evacuees

Poland probes deadly mushroom poisoning of Afghan evacuees
2 min read
03 September, 2021
A five-year-old Afghan boy died and his family fell sick in Poland after being poisoned by a dangerous type of mushroom they found in a forest.
Death cap mushrooms, among the most poisonous in the world, closely resemble Poland’s edible parasol mushrooms

Prosecutors and police in central Poland are investigating the mushroom poisoning of an Afghan family evacuated from Kabul last month, including a 5-year-old boy who died after the family made soup from death cap mushrooms they found in a Polish forest.

The boy's 6-year-old brother has undergone liver transplants, but doctors at Poland’s main children’s hospital said Friday that his survival prospects were very small. A 17-year-old sister was treated and reported to be in good condition.

The family of two adults and four children allegedly cooked soup with the highly poisonous mushrooms they found in the forest around a centre where they were undergoing a mandatory quarantine. They entered the center in Podkowa Lesna, a town near Warsaw, on August 23.

Prosecutors are questioning the centre’s staff as part of a criminal investigation that could lead to possible criminal charges for inadvertently exposing people to a serious threat of loss of health or life, Aleksandra Skrzyniarz, a spokesperson for the prosecutors' office in Warsaw, said. The offense carries a maximum prison term of three years, she said.

Poland evacuated the family last month at Britain’s request after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The father had worked for the British. Doctors at the children’s hospital reported the 5-year-old’s death on Thursday.

In a separate incident at a different centre near Warsaw, four Afghan men were hospitalised after eating poisonous mushrooms, according to the state Office for Foreigners.

Death cap mushrooms, among the most poisonous in the world, closely resemble Poland’s edible parasol mushrooms.

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