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37 students suffer from harmful Chinese grenade-shaped toys

37 students suffer from harmful Chinese grenade-shaped toys

Saturday, January 18, 2014, 11:32 GMT+7

The authorities of the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong have taken samples of Chinese grenade-shaped toys for testing after 37 students were hospitalized for health problems they suffered when playing with the cheap toy that are easy to explode when slapped or stamped on. The toy, which looks like a grenade, is a rather flat plastic bag with many Chinese characters on it. There are two small packs inside the bag, one of which contains a kind of powder in white and the other contains powder in pink. When the toy is slapped with hands or stamped on with foot, the two packs of powder will interact with each other to produce a blast like that of firecrackers. Along with the blast, a pungent odor emitted from the exploded bag. At about 1:30 pm on January 16, a lot of students at Chu Van An Primary School in Dak Song District bought and played with such toys, which exploded and produce the above odor. As a result, 37 students who inhaled or was exposed to the odor suffered from difficult breathing, chest pain, muscular contraction, headache and rashes. Many of the students even passed out. They were taken to the Dak Song General Hospital for treatment. Many victims had to be put on respirators or were given intravenous transfusion, doctors said.  

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A grenade-shaped toy with Chinese characters on it  (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

Many students told police that had bought the toys from a shop near the entrance of the school for only VND1,000 (US$0.05). The police later examined the shop and seized all grenade-shaped toys there. Concerned agencies have taken samples of the toys, which are originated from China, for testing to determine their compositions, said Lieutenant Colonel Tran Khanh Du, head of the district’s police department for administrative management of social order. “Although the ingredients of the toy have yet to be identified, we can affirm that it is very harmful to health. If untreated in time, the students can face life-threatening conditions,” the official said.   After one day of treatment, all the 37 students were recovered and discharged on Friday evening, he added. Such grenade-shaped toys are also seen in many toy shops in Ho Chi Minh City, such as those on Tran Binh Street in District 6 and Hoa Hao Street in District 10.  These toys are sold for VND2,000. Tran Van Xiem, head of the Southern Goods Quality Management Sub-department told Tuoi Tre that the agency will take samples of these toys for testing.

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