A weekend scout camp in Gianyar descended into chaos as dozens of attending teenagers fell ill after eating packed rice meals.
The two-day gathering at Bukit Jati near Samplangan was attended by students from senior high schools and technical colleges across Gianyar regency.
Gianyar Regent Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati was due to open the event — which featured outdoor activities and teambuilding exercises — at midday on February 13, but panic broke out before he arrived at the camp as waiting scouts began to succumb to suspected food poisoning.
Most of the affected students were from SMKN 1 (State Technical College) in Tampaksiring. They reported nausea and dizziness shortly after eating the packed breakfast provided by their college.
“After eating it my body suddenly broke out in a sweat, and even worse, after I ate the second rice packet at lunchtime my head started spinning and I felt sick,” said I Made Palguna Wijaya, a student from the Tampaksiring college.
The first students fell ill at 9am and were taken by ambulance to Gianyar’s Sanjiwani Hospital. Others succumbed later in the day. According to doctors at Sanjiwani a total of 30 students were hospitalised suffering from food poisoning. A further two students brought to the hospital are thought to have suffered panic attacks.
“Most of them were suffering from nausea and dizziness,” said Dr Nyoman Sudiadnyana from the Sanjiwani intensive care unit.
Speaking to the media, head of SMKN1 Tampaksiring said that 40 students from the college had attended the camp. He said that they had been provided with packed rice meals prepared at home by a member of the college staff.