Over 1,300 students hospitalised for eating 'poisonous candy'

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JOHANNESBURG Candy treats at the Sweet and Snack Expo 2014. The expo is showing at the first time at Coca-Cola Dome during 11-13 April 2014.

JOHANNESBURG Candy treats at the Sweet and Snack Expo 2014. The expo is showing at the first time at Coca-Cola Dome during 11-13 April 2014.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — More than 1,300 school children were rushed to hospitals after eating allegedly poisonous durian candies in a southern Philippine province, the police said on Saturday.

The victims were mostly elementary students from nine towns who complained of dizziness and vomiting and rushed to hospitals shortly after eating locally-made durian candies on Friday, said Liza Mazo, chief of the Office of Civil Defense in Mindanao’s Caraga region.

At least 12 people have been arrested after witnesses positively identified them as the ones who sold the candies to different schools in Surigao del Sur province, said regional police spokesperson Martin Gamba.

Officials said at least 1,350 school children and teachers have been affected by the mass poisoning in the towns of Tago, Tagbina, Cagwait, Tandag, Marihatag, San Agustin, Carrascal, Cortes and Madrid.

Gamba said the suspects were now detained by police while cases were being readied against them.