378 Peruvian workers sickened by pesticide

Story highlights

  • Hundreds of farm workers became sick after inhaling a pesticide, officials say
  • The pesticide had been sprayed at an adjacent property
  • Most have been released from the hospital

Hundreds of Peruvian farm workers, the majority of them women, became sick after inhaling a pesticide sprayed on a nearby field, the state-run Andina news agency reported.

The chemical intoxicated at least 378 people, who overran the local hospitals in Ica, a city 200 miles south of Lima.

Patients were being treated in the hallways of a hospital, and suffered symptoms including vomiting, dizziness, and pain, CNN affiliate America TV reported. Two of the women are pregnant.

The national police and the prosecutor's office are investigating the incident, Andina reported.

The farm workers became sick early Tuesday, after about 500 employees arrived at the farm. Hours before they got there, the adjacent land was sprayed with an insecticide for plants, according to local reports.

Most of the patients were discharged from the hospital Tuesday night after receiving treatment, according to Leon Enrique Castaneda, manager of the Ica Assistance Network. The timely response to get those affected to the hospital kept the situation under control, officials said.

The farm, the Beta Agroindustrial Complex, grows and packages fresh produce such as asparagus, citrus and grapes. The company exports their products around the world.

Photos: A toxic tragedy in India

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.