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"Butete" kills two, downs six

- Mellanie Joy C. Rosales () - August 11, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Two persons died while six others landed in the hospital after eating a puffer fish locally known as "Butete" or "Buriring" in Barangay Cabutongan, Santander, Cebu last Sunday evening.

Fisherman Rolando Tano, 48, and Barangay Tanod Alejandro Cuerpo, 51, died on their way to the Oslob District Hospital where they were immediately rushed together with six other victims, Baldomiro Base, 69; Salvador Base, 48; Reymond Base, 16; Airene Tano, 19; Loie Jay Tano, 13; and Algie Cuerpo, 28, because of severe vomiting.

The victims allegedly shared the puffer fish, earlier caught by Rolando, for dinner at 7:00 p.m. last Sunday. Three hours later Loie Jay complained of stomachache and started vomiting. The rest of the victims followed minutes after.

PO2 Gabriel Opoc of Santander Police Station told The FREEMAN that the people in their place are used in eating puffer fish.

"Anad man mukaon og buriring ang mga tao diri. Apan ang maong mga biktima ingon sa mga silingan na dili kuno kaayo kamao mulimpyo sa isda unya naapil kuno og luto ang bihod," Opoc said.

The other six victims were already transferred to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) for further medical treatment.

According to Opoc, this is the first time an incident of food poison due to puffer fish was recorded in their place.

Puffer fish is known to be a toxic fish variety that can poison a person who will eat it if it is not properly cleaned, cut, and cooked.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 7 said "butete" is highly poisonous and its toxins are fatal and a single puffer fish has enough poison to kill 30 adult humans.

It contains tetrodotoxin, which is deadlier than cyanide based on a study in the United States.

In fact, Puffer fish are generally believed to be the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world after the Golden Poison Frog.

Despite the warnings given by the authority to the people about what a puffer fish could do, fishermen still catch and eat them. (THE FREEMAN)

AIRENE TANO ALGIE CUERPO BALDOMIRO BASE BARANGAY CABUTONGAN BARANGAY TANOD ALEJANDRO CUERPO BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES FISH FISHERMAN ROLANDO TANO GABRIEL OPOC OF SANTANDER POLICE STATION PUFFER
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