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Late night methanol binge leaves one student dead, several hospitalised

One student died and nine others admitted to various hospitals in Baringo after consuming methanol at Kolowa Secondary School in Tiaty Sub County.

The student died while receiving treatment at Mercy Hospital in Eldama Ravine town early on Thursday a day after consuming the chemical stolen from the school’s laboratory.

More than 10 students broke into the school’s laboratory on Tuesday night and made away with a whole bottle of methanol into their dormitory. They consumed it in the silence of the night.

VOMITING

But soon they started vomiting profusely and were rushed to the nearby hospitals.

Kolowa Secondary School Head-teacher Zakayo Domokong said that the students sneaked the chemical from the school laboratory on Tuesday evening without the knowledge of their teacher.

“It is a very sad incident because we have lost one of our students who consumed the chemical. Seven have been treated at Barpello Mission Hospital while two others have been hospitalised at Mercy Mission hospital in Eldama/Ravine sub county,” he told the Nation.

According to the school head teacher, nine are in Form Three and Four while two are in Form One and Two.

UNDER MEDICATION

He said that three of those who took the concentrated chemical suffered severe internal injuries while those who had minor ailments had diluted the methanol.

According to a clinical officer at Mercy hospital, James Orodi, they received three students on Thursday at around 2.50am.

He said one died five minutes upon arrival.

“We tried to resuscitate the one who was seriously sick but he succumbed five minutes later. Two others are still under medication but they are not yet stable. We have administered ethanol to the duo which is an antidote of methanol they had consumed and we expect that they will recover,” said Mr Orodi.

The clinical officer said that they were yet to receive information from the school in order to know what transpired.

CONSUMED CHEMICAL

“The three students who had been referred from Barpello Mission Hospital in Tiaty had been accompanied by the school head boy. The only information we have is that they consumed the laboratory chemical on Tuesday evening and started vomiting on Wednesday and were taken to the hospital,” said the clinician.

He, however, cautioned institutions to observe ethical issues regarding laboratory chemicals to avert such cases in future.