Saturday, April 25, 2015

No connection between Egypt's Nile phosphate accident and poisoning cases (Minister)

Egypt's minister of water and irrigation has denied any connection between cases of poisoning in the Nile Delta city of Sharqiya and the sinking of a barge in the Nile carrying phosphate.

Hossam Moghazi said samples taken from the main lake that feeds the water supply to Sharqiya governorate proved potable with no contaminants.

On Tuesday, a barge carrying 500 tons of phosphate capsised in Upper Egypt’s Qena, sparking fears among Egyptians over contamination of their primary source of drinking water.

On Friday, some 379 people in Sharqiya were hospitalised showing symptoms of poisoning, with polluted water becoming the main suspected cause.

Commenting on the incident Friday, Moghazi said the Nile passes seven cities between Qena and Sharqiya, the website of state television reported.

None of the seven cities witnessed complaints of poisoning, he said.

Any contamination would take 12 days to pass from Upper Egypt to the Nile Delta, while in this case only three days had passed, setting the two incidents apart, Moghazi added.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Adel Adawy said his ministry is taking samples from the Nile every 12 hours and is on high alert for emergencies.

Egypt is heavily dependent on the Nile River, from which it gets 55 billion cubic metres of water annually.

1 comment:

  1. 8 still being treated, 752 discharged from hospital in Egypt’s mass poisoning...

    The remaining patients are expected to be released from the hospital within the next hours, Health Ministry Undersecretary Sheriff Makin told State News agency MENA.

    On Friday, hundreds of residents of Al-Ibrahimiya village in Sharqiya governorate, Nile Delta, flocked to hospitals suffering from apparent poisoning from contaminated water.

    On Saturday, a 51-year old man, suffering from the same symptoms, died in the hospital.

    Authorities are currently investigating the outbreak, and questioning the local public water company, which has stressed that their water is safe to drink.

    Several locals told Ahram on Friday that they believe the symptoms were caused by drinking tap water, with some of them saying the water had smelled strange before the incident broke out.

    Reports of water poisoning are not uncommon in Egypt.

    In October 2014, around 100 people were poisoned in a similar incident in Sharqiya. Some blamed the illnesses on the drinking water, but officials at the time said the water was clean.

    The poisoning cases come a few days after a barge carrying 500 tons of phosphate capsized in the Nile in Upper Egypt’s Qena governorate after colliding with the foundations of the city's Dandara Bridge.

    Egypt’s water and irrigation minister denied Friday that the sickness in Sharqiya was connected with the sinking of the barge........


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