KARACHI, Pakistan – Nine people have died and 1,600 have been sickened after drinking contaminated water from a state-operated reservoir in southern Pakistan, officials and witnesses said Tuesday.
Dr. Hadi Bakhsh from the main hospital in the city of Hyderabad, 60 miles northeast of the port city Karachi, said people suffering from diarrhea began streaming in more than two weeks ago.
The contaminated water is supplied by a state-run water agency from Manchar Lake, outside Hyderabad in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province. The source of contamination is unknown, and authorities have ordered an investigation.
Angry crowds gathered outside government offices Tuesday demanding the punishment of officials responsible for the water supply. They blocked the road and pelted shops and vehicles with stones, witnesses said.
Government officials have announced $3,500 in compensation for families of each person who died.
Since May 10 hospitals have treated some 1,600 people, officials said. Provincial Health Minister Naeem Ishtiaq told The Associated Press that four children and a woman died Monday night.
The World Health Organization is preparing a report after taking lake samples.