Egyptian Sailor Dies in Brazil From Anthrax
Date: Wednesday, April 30 2003
Topic: Canadian Politics
From Yahoo news
BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) - A crew member of an Egyptian merchant ship has died in northern Brazil, almost certainly from anthrax, after opening a suitcase suspected of containing the substance which he was taking to Canada.
A spokesman for Brazilian (news - web sites) federal police in the Amazon state of Para said on Monday an autopsy of the Egyptian man, whom he named as Ibrahim Saved Soliman Ibrahim, showed that he had died after vomiting, internal bleeding and multiple organ failure.
"He was the victim of anthrax," said Fernando Sergio Castro, adding that police were 90 percent certain that Ibrahim had died of anthrax.
Ibrahim died in the hotel were he was staying on April 11. Several health workers who found his body were taken to a hospital after becoming ill but are now out of danger.
Ibrahim had traveled to Brazil from Cairo to join his ship, the Wabi Alaras, which loaded bauxite in the Amazon to take to Canada.
"We imagine that this is about bioterrorism and Brazil was just used as a point of transfer," said Castro.
Ibrahim died before his ship sailed to Canada, where it was quarantined by authorities last week.
Canada was alerted about the ship through Interpol.
Castro said Ibrahim had been given the suitcase in Cairo by an unidentified person and was due to deliver it to somebody in Canada. But he doubted Ibrahim knew what the content of the bag was otherwise he most likely would not have opened it.
"He opened it because he was curious," Castro said.
After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, five people died in still-unsolved anthrax mailings.