Afghan boy, 5, who fled Kabul, dies after eating poisonous mushrooms in Poland

The boy had eaten the mushrooms a day after arriving in Poland.

Matthias Ang | September 03, 2021, 04:53 PM

A five-year-old Afghan boy who was evacuated from Kabul to Poland has died after he ate poisonous mushroom and sustained irreversible brain damage, the BBC reported, quoting Polish officials.

His six-year-brother, who also consumed the mushrooms, had to undergo a liver transplant and currently remains in critical condition, according to The Guardian.

Ate mushrooms a day after arriving in Poland

The BBC further reported that the boys had consumed the mushrooms together with their family a day after they arrived in Poland on Aug. 23.

They had been staying at a refugee centre in Podkowa Leśna, near Warsaw, and had fallen ill after the family picked death cap mushrooms in the forest near their accommodation.

According to AP News, the death cap mushrooms, which are some of the most poisonous fungi in the world, closely resemble Poland's parasol mushroom which is edible.

The boy's older sister, aged 17, also fell ill, but has been discharged after recovering while other family members have also been hospitalised.

In addition, the children's parents have also been placed under psychological care, The Guardian reported.

They were evacuated to Poland at the request of the UK, as the father had worked for the British.

Polish officials deny Afghans picked mushrooms because of inadequate food

The mayor of Podkowa Leśna has since denied reports that the refugees picked mushrooms because they did not receive enough food at the refugee centre, AP News further reported.

Poland's Office for Foreigners also highlighted a separate incident at a refugee centre in Warsaw in which four Afghan men were hospitalised after eating poisonous mushrooms.

A spokesperson for the office said: "In connection with this unfortunate accident, workers at the centers will sensitise Afghan citizens not to eat products of unknown origin."

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