Authorities agree to keep up fight for life of brain-dead Chinese boy ‘poisoned by kindergarten teacher’

Mandy Zuo

A district government in central China has agreed to keep trying to save a brain-dead kindergarten boy allegedly poisoned along with more than 20 other students by a teacher in late March.

Wang Junxi, five, remained in a coma and showed no signs of improvement, the Jiefang district government in Jiaozuo, Henan province, said in an online statement on Saturday night, after his parents complained online that officials had asked them to abandon treatment of the boy.

Junxi, who is being kept alive by a life-support machine, was among 23 children at a kindergarten who ate porridge contaminated with sodium nitrite on March 27.

The compound, used as a food additive and a precursor for pesticides, was allegedly added to the food by a teacher named Wang Yun, in an attempt to frame another teacher.

All the children recovered from the poisoning except Junxi.

“The child is not improving despite several group consultations of top doctors from Beijing and Shanghai … but we are still trying to cure him as best we can,” the district government said.

Wang was formally arrested on April 4 and a notice of public prosecution had been filed, it said.

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The case returned to spotlight after Junxi’s mother wrote in an online post earlier this month that local officials had pushed her to agree to give up trying to save Junxi’s life, suggesting they needed an autopsy to provide evidence in court.

“But how could I possibly give up before they give me an explanation?” she wrote, demanding penalties for the kindergarten owner and education watchdogs, as well.

The privately owned kindergarten named Mengmeng, which had been operating for over two decades without a licence, had been closed since the poisoning, but the owner was not being held responsible for the incident, Huashang Daily reported on Saturday.

A few unidentified officials from the sub-district government office and the district education bureau had been “held responsible and punished”, the statement said.

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