At least seven people have suffered ‘severe poisoning’ after eating or drinking at a German university, police have today revealed.
Officers say they fell sick after consuming food or drink at the Darmstadt Technical University, in Darmstadt, near to city of Frankfurt in central Germany.
Six of the seven people have been taken to hospital, according to local reports. It is believed students and staff are among those who have fallen ill.
Police are urging anyone who feels unwell after eating or drinking at the university today to seek medical attention.
A ‘bluish discoloration’ of the fingers and toes is one of the signs of poisoning, officers say.
They have urged those who feel unwell ‘not to move’ and to call the emergency services immediately.
Police say it is not yet clear what the poisonous substance is.
However they say early investigations show ‘several milk packs and water containers’ have been ‘mixed with a harmful substance’
The containers were apparently being stored in a tea room of the university’s science department.
In a statement released on a Twitter tonight, local police said: ‘So far, we know of seven people who, after consuming various foods and beverages in the ‘L201′ building of the Technical University, have shown signs of poisoning, among other things.’
Officers say the people fell sick after eating or drinking at the Darmstadt Technical University, in Darmstadt, near to city of Frankfurt in central Germany
‘In the event of discoloration, urgent medical advice:Try not to move and call the emergency doctor immediately.’
Police say they are on site with other emergency services and an investigation is underway.
They say officers are sweeping through additional buildings on the campus to check for any other harmful substances.
Police spokesman Bernd Hochstädter told one German news agency that a chemical analysis of the substance is underway.
He said: ‘Such analysis is usually not quick. It will take a while.’
Police say a result of the chemical analysis is not expected today.
Commonly known as TU Darmstadt, the research university was founded more than 140 years ago, in 1877.
It was the first university in the world to set up a faculty for electrical engineering – then a relatively new field of research.
The university boasts four Nobel laureates three Wolf Prize in physics laureates.
The most recent Nobel laureate was physicist Peter Grünberg in 2007, for his work which ultimately brought about a breakthrough in gigabyte hard drive space.
The university has around 2,500 staff and an annual budget of around €450 million.