Toxic pesticide poisons cotton workers (UPDATED)

A toxic pesticide has caused a mass poisoning of cotton workers in the Saatli region of Azerbaijan.

The incident took place on 10 June in the village of Simada in a cotton field.

"The owner sprayed the field four days ago," an anonymous source told Meydan TV. "No one should have entered the area for 15 days. No one informed the workers about this. They went there without knowing and they were poisoned. There were 21 employees. A police officer who got them out of the field was also poisoned, as were four paramedics. Overall, 26 people were affected."

According to the press service of the Ministry of Health, most of the victims are being treated in a regional hospital and a medical team has been sent from Baku. Four victims have been sent to the Toxicology Center in Baku, where their condition is said to be moderately severe.

According to preliminary information, the chemical which caused the mass poisoning is called "Formula 5-FEC," which is used to control weeds and insects. The paramedic who provided first aid to the cotton workers was also poisoned.

An investigation is underway.

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