Alapuzha (Kerala): Two of the three Sports Authority of India athletes who ate poisonous fruit to end their lives over alleged harassment by their seniors, have been put on pacemakers.
Alapuzha District Collector N Padmakumar told PTI that the four girls had consumed the poisonous fruit at 3 PM yesterday and came to the hospital after 9 PM, by which time it had been digested and had entered their blood.
“We have to keep our fingers crossed. We cannot say that the three - aged 14, 16 and 17 - have overcome the crisis. It will take 2-3 days to know”, he said.
“The girls have been put on medication to keep up their potassium level and two of them have been put on pacemakers”.
The girls were conscious when brought in, he said, adding that the youngest had consumed only one fruit and her condition was better. There was also a possibility of the poison entering the muscles, he said.
On the charges by the family about harassment, he said it would be looked into. But there is also a version that the SAI authorities were very strict and so the children were complaining, he said.
‘Othalanga' (Cerbera Odollom) known as suicide fruit,grows wild in coastal and swampy areas in many parts of Kerala. The poison blocks the calcium ion channels in heart muscles, causing disruption of the heart beat.
Meanwhile, Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told PTI that he has asked Ernakulam Range IG Ajit Kumar to rush to Alapuzha.
“I am awaiting a report from him”, he said and refused to give further details when asked if police had recovered any suicide note.
A 15-year-old sportsperson died early today and the three others, all undergoing training at Water Sports centre of Sports Authority of India here were hospitalised, after they ate a poisonous fruit in an apparent suicide pact following alleged harassment by seniors.