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Chemical Linked to Deaths

Chemical Linked to Deaths
DEAD... Mataiasi Tumaitoga.
April 23
11:44 2018

Builder Mataiasi Tumaitoga was to celebrate his 21st birthday on April 29.

But his life was cut short after a drinking party turned deadly last week.

Mr Tumaitoga, originally from Nuku Village, Moala, Lau, but lived in Kilikali Settlement in Nasinu between Suva and Nausori, was one of two men who died in the tragedy. The other deceased whom friends know only as “Tovata” lived close by in Nadawa. A third man, only known at this stage as Taniela is at Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

Paul Cokanisiga, one of the survivors of the drinking party, claimed that they drank “homebrew” laced with a powerful chemical agent that was obtained from a drum marked flammable in a laboratory in Suva. It must have been really strong because when Mr Tumaitoga vomited outside, the grass withered and died.

“I drank with the group of six on Tuesday night. The next day I was vomiting blood inside the house but I recovered. Three members of the group drank again on Thursday. I did not join them,” he said.

“I heard Tumaitoga gasping for  air on Friday. When I checked him, his tongue was out, he was frothing on the mouth and blood came out of his nose. He was rushed to the hospital at 9pm but pronounced dead on Saturday.”

He said “Tovata” was also rushed to the hospital on Friday but was pronounced dead on Saturday too.

Mr Cokanasiga said Tumaitoga was a humble, caring man.

“We will miss him.”

Police confirmed the incident and are investigating.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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