Chinese cook poisons 21 people after mistaking pesticide for spices

Beijing, Apr 25 (EFE).- One person died and 20 others were poisoned when a cook prepared food with a pesticide that he mistook for spices in China's Inner Mongolia region, the official Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.

Two of the victims are listed in critical condition, Xinhua said.

The cook, who is under arrest, was preparing food at a ranch for workers employed on the Beijing-Tibet highway expansion project.

The accidental poisoning occurred on Tuesday when the cook added a toxic substance used as a pesticide to the food he was preparing, police said.

Investigators concluded that the case was one of negligence even though similar substances have been used in other poisoning cases in China.

The workers are employed by Mongolia Highway Engineering, which is expanding the Beijing-Tibet highway, one of the main roads in northern China and a route known for experiencing huge traffic jams, some of which last up to 10 days.