A day that was meant to be a happy and joyous one turned tragic for a nine-year-old boy in Bengaluru when he and a friend drank sulphuric acid by mistake and died. The boy, Sahil Shankar, was celebrating his ninth birthday when he and a friend, Aryan, drank the acid assuming it was a cold drink.
Sahil's father is said to be a goldsmith and had kept the acid at home in a glass bottle for work purpose. While he wasn't at home when the incident took place, his wife was reportedly attending to the guests who had come for the birthday party.
After cutting the cake, Sahil and Aryan are said to have gone to a room and gulped down the acid thinking it was a cold drink.
"The children mistook it for a soft drink and drank it. Soon, they collapsed. The guests rushed the children to a private hospital, which referred them to Victoria hospital, where doctors declared them brought dead," the Times of India quoted the police as saying.
A post-mortem was conducted and the bodies of the boys were handed over to the families on Thursday, September 28.
A similar incident had earlier come to light in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, when an eight-year-old girl underwent a surgery to repair her food pipe, which had been burnt when she drank acid as a 1.5-year-old toddler. The acid had damaged her food pipe and only one cm of it was intact.
Doctors then operated on the girl through a rare procedure called the "gastric pull up oesophageal reconstruction." The surgery took five hours during which an eight-inch long incision was made from the neck to the abdomen and a new food pipe was constructed.
"We took a section of her small intestine and replaced the oesophagus, thereby creating a new link between her mouth and stomach," News Nation quoted Dr Hasmukh Vora, associate professor (surgical gastroenterology) at VS Hospital, as saying.
Another case that made headlines was when a Delhi man drank liquid nitrogen at a bar and ended up with a hole in his stomach. The 30-year-old did not realise that he was supposed to drink the cocktail only after the liquid nitrogen – which creates a white smoke on the surface of the drink – had completely evaporated.
"When I gulped down the drink, I started feeling very uncomfortable, like how you feel when there is an acid reflux. The bartender passed me another drink and I had it, not thinking too much about the discomfort. However, within seconds, my stomach started swelling and I was in unbearable pain. Breathing was also difficult," the man told the Hindustan Times.