20,000 runners took part in last Sundays, Qingyuan marathon located in south China’s Guangdong province. Out of the 20,000 participants, 12,000 reportedly fell ill after eating soap bars believing they were energy bars due to their fluorescent colored packaging, reported by People's Daily.
It is a normal practice for individuals and businesses to offer free refreshments to contestants involved in marathon running. Many of the marathon runners in their distracted state did not take a close inspection of the soap bars packaging and took huge bites into the soap bars hard gel like texture. It is reported that the street where the marathon participants were running was scattered with half eaten soap bars.
From the 12,000 individuals who needed medical treatment, 23 of which were taken to the hospital and 5 of those hospitalised people are currently in critical condition. Unfortunately or fortunately, there were no reports of a mass of runners foaming from the mouth.