Sunday, December 14, 2008

Five Onge aboriginal tribesmen, whose population has been dwindling, died and 15 others took ill after consuming a toxic chemical at Dugong Creek of Little Andaman island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

"Onge tribals have drunk the chemical mistaking it to be alcohol last night from a plastic can that had got washed ashore from the Bay of Bengal at Dugong Creek," said South Andaman district SP Ashok Chand.

A medical team led by deputy director R C Kar had gone to the far flung island, about 125-km south-west of Port Blair, to provide emergency medical service to the seriously ill tribesmen.

They would be flown to Port Blair for further treatment as the remote area lacked proper healthcare facility, Chand said.

With the death of five Onge tribesmen, the island's population of the tribe has come down to 95.

According to official sources the population of Onge tribals, who numbered 672 in 1901, had dwindled to 100 recently. 

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