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10.06.2006 General News

'Waakye' Seller Held Over Tragedy

By Times
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The Tema Police have arrested the woman who allegedly sold the rice and beans (waakye) meal to pupils and staff of the First Star Academy, Tema, leading to the death of a 14-year-old pupil.

Habiba Alhassan Ladi, 32, was arrested on Wednesday at the Ashaiman Night Market area where she lives and prepares her food.

She was said to have sold the waakye at the school last Friday, and the boy, Enoch Antwi, JSS 2, died a day after eating the meal.

Thirteen others, including a nursery teacher, who also ate the food, were hospitalized but 11 of them have since been discharged while the remaining two are still receiving treatment.

The food was suspected to have been contaminated and Habiba did not return to the school until she was arrested.

Tema Regional Police Commander, Jonathan Yakubu, told the Times yesterday that after Habiba's arrest, samples of the ingredients she uses for cooking were taken to the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) for laboratory test to find out if they contain any harmful chemicals.

He said the suspect is being investigated for offering unwholesome food for sale and is being kept in police custody for her own safety until the investigations are completed.

He said Antwi's body is to be taken to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for a post-mortem examination after which a toxicology test of the stomach contents will be done at the GSB, he said.

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