Massive poisoning in Mexico: nearly 60 students mysteriously get sick, one critical

At least 57 students were poisoned by an unidentified substance at a rural secondary school in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, local authorities said.

The mass poisoning on Friday was the third at Chiapas schools to be reported in local media in the past two weeks, shocking students and outraging parents.

The Mexican Social Security Institute said on Friday that 57 teenage students in the rural community of Bochil had arrived at a local hospital with symptoms of poisoning. One student in a “delicate” condition was taken to a hospital in the state capital, while the rest were stable, the institute said.

Authorities did not speculate on a cause, but local news outlets said some parents believe the students were exposed to contaminated water or food.

“We are outraged by these events,” Bochil leaders said in a statement, adding that they are cooperating with an investigation by the prosecutor.

Videos circulating on social media showed a chaotic scene in which adults with teenagers in school uniforms ran down a hospital corridor to screams in fear.

The state prosecutor’s office said on social media on Saturday that it had conducted 15 toxicology tests, all of which were negative for illegal drugs, after reports in local media and social media circulated that students had tested positive for cocaine.

In a Facebook video on Saturday, dozens of parents gathered on the high school basketball court and passed a microphone as they demanded answers from authorities, while more than a dozen police officers, some with shields, watched.

A man in the video said his daughter had been poisoned and tested positive for cocaine in a private lab, along with other students.

The state prosecutor’s office said it would continue testing students but did not respond to questions about the past poisoning events

Since September 23, local media have reported two previous cases of mass poisoning in the city of Tapachula, affecting dozens of students.

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