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Toxic dyes in Holi celebrations kill 1, hospitalize hundreds

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Vaishnavi Borde, a nine year-old Indian child, who is undergoing treatment after suffering from allergic reactions from colored powder thrown during the Holi Festival, reacts during a blood test at a hospital in Mumbai on March 9. A teenage boy has died and hundreds of others have been hospitalized in Mumbai due to suspected contaminated paint used in the Indian "festival of colour" Holi, a report said.

Rajanish Kakade / AP

Relatives of 13-year old Viky Walmiki, who died from poisoning from colored powder and water used during Holi celebrations, gather outside his house in Mumbai, India, on March 9.

What traditionally are lighthearted Hindu celebrations of the arrival of spring, became deadly when hundreds of children came into contact with toxic colors used in the festivities. Viky Walmiki, 13-years-old, died after he was taken to the hospital with poisoning symptoms while celebrating in Mumbai. According to the Times of India, more than 200 people were admitted to hospitals "after they complained of giddiness, burning sensation on skin, nausea and vomiting." It is possible that leather tanners from a local dump got mixed up with the colors the children used to splash each other. Mumbai's Dharavi neighborhood is home to a leather tanning industry.

The annual festival always provides colorful scenes of people splashing each other with colored powders and dyes.

AP

Police take notes as they speak to children suffering from poisoning from colored powder and water used during Holi celebrations, in Mumbai, India, on March 8.

Rajanish Kakade / AP

5-year-old Ritika Borde, a victim of poisoning from colored powder and water used during Holi celebrations, stands in a queue to be treated at a government hospital in Mumbai, India, on March 9.