Scores of Aceh Peoples Party congress participants poisoned

Aceh Kita – March 1, 2007
Patients being treated at Zainoel Abidin Public Hospital (RRI)
Patients being treated at Zainoel Abidin Public Hospital (RRI)

Banda Aceh – Around 75 participants attending a conference of the Preparatory Committee for the Acehnese People’s Party (KP-PRA) are being treated at the Zainoel Abidin Public Hospital for poisoning after consuming food. Twenty three are still being treated in hospital.

The head of the emergency treatment ward at the hospital, Murniati said that as many as 75 congress participants being treated, 23 of which are in a serious condition. “Patients are still arriving. We are still unable to confirm the cause of the scores of people’s illness”, he told journalists on Thursday morning, March 1.

According to KP-PRA chairperson Thamrin Ananda, the symptoms of poisoning began to be felt at around 11.30pm on Wednesday after congress participants consumed food provided by the organizing committee. As soon as it was known that they had been poisoned, the organising committee immediately took them to the hospital at around 12 midnight.

Participants said that they began to experience dizziness after consuming dinner at around 8pm. This was then followed by cake at 10pm. “Participants experienced headaches, vomiting and nauseous stomachs, and diarrhea”, said Kamra (26), a participant from South Aceh. “The participants that did not eat dinner did not get sick”.

The KP-PRA is holding its first congress in Banda Aceh between February 27 to March 2. Around 400 people are attending the congress from 16 regencies/municipalities. At the end of the congress, they will declare the Acehnese People’s Party as the first local political party in Aceh. The congress will also elect a chairperson and general secretary. [dzie]