CHENNAI: Four of a family in Kondithope died of suspected food poisoning within six hours on Monday.
Police said Nandakumar (56), his wife Kalaivani (52), son Vinod aka Purushothaman (30), mother Janaki (72), Nandakumar’s younger brother Sundaramoorthy and family, Kalaivani’s mother Sivakami (70) and her younger sister Lalithaa (65), were living together on the first floor rented portion on Vengu Street in Kondithope.
The family had food (idlis and dosas) on Saturday night and they stuck to the same menu for Sunday’s breakfast. Nandakumar initially complained of diarrhoea and vomiting and was treated at a clinic around 2 pm. One after the other, the entire family, except for Sundaramoorthy and Janaki, picked up similar symptoms during the course of the day. They did not eat any food later.
Lalithaa’s condition worsened early on Monday. Around 5.30 am, Sundaramoorthy checked on Lalithaa who was lying dead. Sundaramoorthy then rushed to check on Nandakumar and Kalaivani and felt their temperatures going down.
He moved both them to a leading speciality hospital on Mint Street, where they died around 6.15 am.
Sundaramoorthy then shifted Purushothaman and Sivakami to the same hospital along with Janaki, who also had similar symptoms. Purushothaman, who told police that either the breakfast or the dinner they had on Saturday night could have led to this condition, died around 11 am. The bodies were moved to the Government Stanley Hospital.
Meanwhile, Sivakami was moved to another hospital in Tondiarpet, while both Janaki and Sivakami are under treatment. Though Janaki had not taken anything that morning, she was kept under observation.
Preliminary probe showed the family was into wholesale of cosmetics and had their office on Amman Koil Street adjoining Vengu Street.
“We were not able to get any food samples that the family ate. However, we were able to get the batter which the family had stored in their refrigerator. We have sent it for analysis. It appears that the family would make idly-dosa batter weekly and use it when required,” said a senior police official.
“However, we will come to know about the cause of the death only after the autopsy which is likely on Tuesday and after getting the preliminary report,” the official added.
Speaking to reporters, Nandakumar’s nephew Deenadayalan said his uncle was not keeping well for sometime and had been taking only idlis for breakfast and dinner.