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Man Held in East China Food Poisoning Case

Police Tuesday arrested a man accused of poisoning 57 people Monday in Ningbo, in east China's Zhejiang Province.

The suspect, Yan Wancai, was put into custody on Tuesday morning.

Forty-five of the victims remain hospitalized, with one still in critical condition, police said.

An investigation indicates that Yan put rat poison in a bottle of soya sauce in a breakfast buffet owned by Zheng Xiangfen, with whom Yan had been in dispute.

Fifty people have been poisoned and sent to hospitals after they ate food from a breakfast stand.

Three of them are in a coma while others are now in a stable situation, according to the local health department.

Monday morning, the local health department received a call from the emergency room of the Lihuili hospital, reporting that five people were sent to the hospital after having breakfast at the stand. The department sent experts to the spot to investigate right after the report.

By Monday afternoon, 50 people had been sent to five hospitals in the city. All patients had nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Two of them even vomited blood.

The local government has decided to check all breakfast stands in the city.

(Xinhua News Agency November 26, 2003)

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