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Milk tea poisoning kills two in Manila

Two people were killed and another was hospitalized after drinking milk tea at a shop in Sampaloc, Manila.

According to the police's initial investigation, Suzanne Dagohoy and Arnold Aydalla bought their drinks at Ergo Cha, a milk tea shop in Bustillos, Sampaloc at 11 a.m. on Thursday. 

Aydalla pointed out an unpleasant taste in his drink and made Dagohoy taste it before bringing it to the attention of the shop owner, William Abrigo, who personally prepared the couple's order, the report said.

After receiving the complaint, Abrigo reportedly replaced the straw to taste the drink himself.

Witnesses said Dagohoy collapsed first, her mouth frothing, as they left the store. Aydalla experienced the same thing, as did Abrigo, who succumbed a few minutes later.

The three were rushed to the Ospital ng Sampaloc, where Dagohoy and Abrigo died. Aydalla is still being treated.


A report on "24 Oras" said Aydalla didn't swallow the sip of Hokkaido milk tea, but his girlfriend helped herself quite a bit because she was thirsty.
Within a few minutes, the couple collapsed. According to a witness, both Dagohoy and Aydalla had chills within minutes. 
Pedicab and tricycle drivers in the area helped bring the couple to the hospital. Ten minutes later, the store's owner fell on his side, his mouth also frothing.
Dagohoy passed away past 3 p.m., while Abrigo died around 5 p.m.
Witnesses also said they saw a member of the shop's staff throwing milk tea in the sewer. GMA News checked and found tapioca pearls in the area.

The Manila Police District has secured a sample of Aydalla's drink, which they sent to the Food and Drug Administration for testing. Dagohoy and Abrigo's remains are also undergoing autopsy at the PNP Crime Laboratory.

Foul-smelling liquid

According to MPD spokesperson Supt. Marissa Bruno, investigators are looking into whether it was more than just a simple case of a spoiled drink.
A man working for the milk tea shop, who asked not to be identified, was invited to the police headquarters for questioning. He told investigators that the shop had previously received a complaint about how their drink tasted.
The said incident happened after the son of the store owner brought a clear, foul-smelling liquid to the shop.
According to the employee, Abrigo's son would wear gloves when handling the liquid.
The employee added that the pitcher used to mix Dagohoy and Aydalla's drinks smelled of that liquid. 
As for the traces of tapioca peals in the sewer, he said those were thrown out a day before the incident. —Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/NB/TJD/JDS, GMA News
Tags: milktea