File Photo: A view of water treatment plant in Egypt (Photo: Al-Ahram)
The mass poisoning in Egypt's Sharqiya governorate is due to the fall of disinfectants in drinking water tanks, initial investigations by the prosecution revealed on Monday, Aswat Masriya reported.
The head of Al-Ibrahimiya prosecution, Amir Sweillam, requested the remaining reports concerning water samples.
Hundreds of residents of Al-Ibrahimiya village in Sharqiya governorate flocked to hospitals suffering from apparent poisoning as a result of contaminated water last Friday.
On Sunday, out of 761 possible water poisoning cases, eight patients were still being treated, while the others had been discharged from hospitals after recovering, a health ministry official said.
The general prosecution had decided earlier to take samples from drinking water and food scraps from the homes of infected people.
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.
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 sicknesses in Sharqiya were connected with the sinking of the barge.
Health Minister Hossam Moghazi stated that the Nile River passes seven cities between Qena and Sharqiya and none of these cities had reported any cases of water poisoning.