DUMAGUETE CITY—Three children died on Thursday at Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital after falling ill, less than 24 hours after swimming at a river in Siaton town, Negros Oriental.
The relatives of the children suspected that Maloh River was contaminated because at the time they went swimming on Wednesday, the residents found dead fish floating on the river.
The fatalities were identified as Justine Bahandi, 3, and his cousins, Ranmil Tabilon, 6, and elder sister Sandy, 8.
Three of the Tabilon siblings—Ramil, 4, Randy, 13, and Recel, 3—were also in the hospital where physicians were monitoring their conditions.
Mildred Tabilon said her five children and their cousin Bahandi took a dip in the river after their classes at 4 p.m. on Wednesday before going home.
On Thursday morning, her five children complained of abdominal pain. “They were sweating and crying because of stomach pain. They were vomiting [something] black,” she said.
She said they immediately brought the children to the hospital. Bahandi died a few minutes after arrival and Ranmil and Sandy died a few hours later.
Artemio Tabilon, grandfather of the children, said the river could have been contaminated with pesticides or chemicals used in the farms because Maloh River is surrounded by mango plantations and rice fields.
The Siaton health office sent a team to the area to investigate the matter. Carine Asutilla, Inquirer Visayas