BACOLOD CITY, Philippines—Two fishermen died while eight of their neighbors fell ill after eating puffer fish on Tuesday in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
Jose Aragon of the Sagay City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council identified the fatalities as Francisco Mapalo, 42, and Romulo Celeste, 58, both fishermen from Barangay Old Sagay.
According to Aragon, the fishermen caught a few kilos of puffer fish about 5 p.m. and cooked them.
They ate the puffer fish an hour later while drinking liquor. Some of the cooked puffer fish was given to their neighbors.
It was not until 11 p.m. when the fishermen and their eight neighbors started feeling sick, said Aragon.
They then sought assistance from the Sagay City disaster management council, which in turn took the victims to the hospital.
Mapalo was declared on arrival at the Alfredo E. Marañon Sr. Memorial District Hospital, said Aragon.
Celeste died while undergoing treatment, he added.
Five were still confined in the hospital. They were Theresa Belmoro, 34, and her son Gabriel, 5; Roy Hit, 30; Rommel Barcelona, 36; and Eric Bargabaldo, 44.
Three others had been discharged from the hospital. They were Ruby Ann Aligato, 34, and Belmoro’s daughters Noemi, 2, and Abigail, 4.