x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Boy, 9, buried as police probe death

The 9-year-old boy whose death remained a mystery after food poisoning and pesticides were ruled out was buried in Dubai's Al Quoz neighbourhood.

DUBAI // An Indian family yesterday buried their nine-year-old son without knowing what killed him.

Awad Firoz Khan died on April 21 after falling ill along with his parents and brother, Azeem.

They were admitted to Al Baraha Hospital suffering from suspected food poisoning, which was later ruled out as the cause of death.

Yesterday, Awad's father, Firoz Khan, said they had asked for the boy's body to be released from the police mortuary after more than 10 days of waiting for answers.

"We made a special request to police to release the body," said Mr Khan. "We cannot keep waiting for the medical reports."

Awad, who had special needs, was buried in Al Quoz. The Khan family went to hospital suffering from the same symptoms - nausea, dizziness, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Awad, who studied at Al Noor Training Centre, was declared dead on arrival.

His brother Azeem, 15, and his parents were discharged two days later after treatment.

Police initially suspected food poisoning but inspectors from Dubai Municipality ruled this out after testing samples from the family's home in Deira.

The Khans had eaten at a popular fried-chicken restaurant, Awad's favourite, then later that same day had eaten dinner at home.

Authorities also investigated the spraying of pesticides at the home of a neighbour. The family had feared this was to blame for their illnesses, and Mr Khan said he was sure the chemicals were the cause of his son's death.

But toxicology reports released by police last week discarded the possibility of death by pesticide poisoning or chemical toxins.

Officers are still waiting for the results of a bacterial test, which was expected earlier this week.


* With additional reporting by Wafa Issa