A case of apparent poisonings at the location of the partially destroyed Ohmatdyt children’s hospital in Kyiv has sparked speculation on social media.

A volunteer reported late at night on Monday, July 8, that she and two police officers fell ill after drinking from bottled water apparently brought to the scene by unidentified individuals.

Following the missile strike, a large crowd had gathered at the hospital to assist rescuers in clearing the rubble. Volunteers and local residents rushed to bring water and food to help anyone who might need it.

Volunteer Kateryna Terekhova shared a video on social media in which she claimed that “poisoned water in an Auchan bottle” had been left at the hospital. According to Terekhova, those who drank or even washed their faces with the water fell ill.

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“Many people from Kyiv brought a lot of water to Ohmatdyt... Just as we were leaving, the police approached us. We mentioned that we had left some water on the table for them. Moments later, the police called us and said ‘What kind of water did you leave? You can see my face now. It is red. We all have chemical poisoning,’” Terekhova explained in her video.

“Some f***ers, I just can’t say it any other way, poisoned a bottle of water...” she added.

The volunteer later noted that the label on the suspicious water bottle had a different color pattern from that of genuine store-bought bottles. This has not been confirmed at the time of writing since the bottle shown on the Auchan website looks the same as the one in the photo and videos provided by the volunteer.

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While mentioning that “two policemen” were affected and needed treatment by paramedics – one who washed his face with the water and another who drank it – Terekhova didn’t describe her own symptoms.

However, the day after the video was posted, she reported on Instagram that she had received an intravenous drip with antitoxins and sorbents at home and plans to get tested to identify the toxin.

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Kyiv police are investigating the incident after discovering details of the alleged poisoning while monitoring social media. Since two of those affected are police officers, as described by Terekhova, it is not yet clear what evidence the police currently have to work with.

According to VoxCheck Project analytics, this condition of people could have been caused by:

  • A difficult day spent at the site of the shelling,
  • The water might have deteriorated because it was in the sun all day,
  • Fuel toxicity after a rocket hit.

Currently, there are no mass reports of water poisoning near Ohmatdyt or in general from the Auchan network.

In a comment for TSN, Oleg Ruban, head of the main Department of the State Food and Consumer Service of Kyiv, pointed out that they, together with the Red Cross Society, organised food safety control.

They did not receive information about the poisoning of people from hospitals. They indicate that rocket fuel may have gotten on the skin or into the water, causing such symptoms.

The Center for Public Health of Ukraine also points out that as of 11:00 on July 9, medical institutions had not received complaints about water poisoning from people who were in Ohmatdyt.

They also provide tips on how to properly store water. One of their tips is: "Do not store water in the sun: The sun's rays can heat plastic/glass bottles, which contributes to the release of harmful chemicals into the water. Store water in a cool, dark place."

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Another tip is: "Keep water away from chemicals: Do not store bottled water near harsh chemicals such as detergents, as plastic bottles can absorb odors and substances from the environment."

This tip can confirm the theory about rocket fuel.

Therefore, toxic substances can enter the water, particularly through plastic, even if it does not show signs of external interference.

The missile attack on the morning of July 8 targeted various regions of Ukraine, including Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, and the Donetsk region. One of the buildings damaged was the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital, which houses children on dialysis.

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