The celebration of a new baby’s arrival is supposed to be a happy occasion when relatives can come together and officially welcome the child into the world. For members of one Pakistani family, however, their most recent get-together was anything but joyful.
The party seemed normal at first, but soon after dessert was served, five people dropped dead without warning. Within hours, the death toll had risen to 26. When the family finally learned the cause, it was yet another devastating blow…
Umer Hayat hosted a family get-together to celebrate the birth of his grandson Abdullah just a few weeks earlier. Most of his family and many friends from his small Pakistani town of Layyah attended.
Umer ordered food for the celebration, and among the items he purchased were 11 pounds of laddu, a popular sweet in the region, from Tariq Hotel & Sweet Shop.
Soon after the dessert was served, tragedy struck. Five partygoers suddenly died, and within hours the death toll had risen to 26.
Police quickly determined that the laddu had been poisoned, but how or why remained a mystery…
The shop worker who had made the sweets claimed that he must have put a pesticide in the recipe by accident. A nearby pesticide shop under renovation was leaving its supplies in the bakery for safe keeping, and the baker suggested that the pesticide and an actual ingredient share similar-looking boxes containing English writing, which he can’t read.
The investigation of whether the poisoning was intentional or simply an accident is still ongoing, but meanwhile the town of Layyah is mourning their devastating loss and praying for the Hayat family. Umer, who unwittingly purchased the poisoned laddu, lost two of his children, one sister, and all seven of his brothers. He remains in critical condition.
What a horrible tragedy! Based on the facts available, it seems like an accident, but it’s definitely one that should have been easily preventable.