4 dead, 65 hospitalized for eating 'pawikan'

Posted at 08/22/13 7:37 PM

MANILA – Four people were killed and 65 others were brought to a hospital due to food poisoning after eating dead “pawikan” or sea turtles in Arteche, Eastern Samar.

Arteche Mayor Rolando Evardone identified the fatalities as Marlon Mosende Nuguit, 23; Ramon Despe Nuguit, 55; Marcosa Flores Picardal, 80; and Lilia Picardal Galit, 56.

Those who got sick, some of them children, were confined at the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital but many of them have been allowed to go home.

Evardone said the pawikan, which weighed about 20 kilos, were found by residents of Barangay Rawis last Friday.

Some of the residents cooked it and served it as finger food or “pulutan.”

The mayor said he received reports of food poisoning on Tuesday.

Some pawikan species are considered critically endangered.