Woman dies from contaminated water in Durg private college hostel, 55 ill

A 19-year-old student died and 55 others fell ill after drinking contaminated water in the women’s hostel of a private college in Chhattisgarh’s Durg district. The matter came to light on Monday when the district health officials learned that a large number of students from Ved Women’s Hostel had been admitted to a private hospital in Bhilai, the official said.

He said it was found that at least 55 women pursuing skill training courses at Rastogi College had been admitted to a hospital since July 30, with symptoms of vomiting and dysentery. Currently, 51 students are under treatment in the hospital, he said, adding that four have been discharged.

A student, identified as Kamini Churinder, who was admitted to a hospital in neighboring Rajnandgaon district with similar symptoms, died on Sunday. They said that on July 29, Churinder was taken by his family from the hostel to his home in Balod district and later admitted to Rajnandgaon.

Durga Collector Pushpinder Meena ordered an inquiry into the incident and a team of officials, including the district’s Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Dr JP Meshram, met the affected students and inspected the hostel. He said that during the inspection, the inmates of the hostel complained about the quality of food and said that water was being served from an old cooler.

Water samples from water tanks, purifiers and cooler machines have been sent to the Department of Public Health Engineering (PHE) for clinical testing. “Initially, it seems that contaminated water may be the cause of the illness,” the official said. Despite repeated complaints from students about the quality of food and water, the hostel management has not addressed the issue. He further said that further investigation is going on in the matter.

Durg Additional Superintendent of Police Sanjay Dhru said that an FIR under Section 304A (death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code is being registered against the hostel management.

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