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Father dies after eating puffer fish

First Posted 12:43:00 03/11/2008

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CEBU CITY, Philippines - One person died and nine others fell ill after eating a poisonous variety of puffer fish locally known as ?butete? in Barangay (village) Malbago in Madridejos town on Bantayan Island Monday afternoon.

Abner Batbatan, 34, caught the butete and cooked it for his family's lunch.

A few hours later Batbatan, his wife and three children, five other relatives and neighbors started to suffer dizziness and severe stomach ache.

They were all brought to the Bantayan District Hospital where Batbatan died about 4 p.m.

Madridejos Mayor Salvador dela Fuente said the rest of the victims were in stable condition, but they were still being assisted by the doctors so they will not get dehydrated.

He said the Madridejos municipal government will shoulder the medical expenses of the victims aside from giving P1,000 financial assistance to each victim.

Batbatan's family will also get a burial aid.

The puffer fish may not have been properly cooked.

Despite frequent warnings about the high risk of eating puffer fish because of the high toxin level, small fishermen still catch and prepare the fish for their meals.

Residents insist that if properly cleaned and cooked, eating a butete would not cause any harm.

Last year, four persons were killed and five others fell ill after eating butete in the same barangay.

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