Meal of puffer fish kills 2 fishermen, downs 10
BACOLOD CITY — Two fishermen died while 10 others were taken to a hospital after eating puffer fish, authorities said on Monday.
The fatalities were identified as Jose Artajo, 62, owner of the vessel from Cadiz City and Nixon Legaspi, 35, of Escalante City. Artajo, Legaspi and their companions ate the puffer fish on Saturday while they were at sea aboard a fishing boat.
Escalante City health officials said the fishermen caught the puffer fish on June 1 and kept it in their vessel’s cold storage area. They cooked the fish on June 4, according to Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, Negros Occidental provincial health officer.
Artajo suffered chest pains immediately after eating the puffer fish and had wanted to eat garlic, thinking his blood pressure shot up, according to Tumimbang. He was rushed to Vicente Gustilo District Hospital in Escalante at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and was declared dead on arrival.
Legaspi, on the other hand, was declared dead on arrival at the same hospital at 4:50 p.m. Saturday. /INQUIRER
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