Students and staff at a German college had a quite unpleasant dining experience this week, and now local police suspect poisoning. Cops in the state of Hesse say seven students and employees took ill Monday on the Lichtwiese campus of Darmstadt Technical University, reports the Guardian. Police suspect that milk and water containers located in three separate kitchen areas were contaminated over the weekend, and one investigator told the Bild newspaper it didn't look like an accident.
Officials say a "harmful substance" with a "pungent smell" was placed into the containers. Among the victims' symptoms: nausea and the frightening experience of watching their limbs turn blue, per Hesse police. Six were treated at a local hospital, while a seventh, a 30-year-old student, seemed close to death, until doctors were able to stabilize them on Monday night. An investigative team made up of dozens of police officers is now looking into the incident as a possible case of attempted murder, per Deutsche Welle.
In a statement, police say that they've searched other buildings on campus and found nothing, that no other victims have come forward, and that there doesn't seem to a threat of "acute danger" for others, per Euronews. In the meantime, students and staff members are being advised to drink or eat only out of containers they've "carried themselves or stored under supervision," at least for the next few days, per the Guardian. "We are shocked by the apparent crime that has been committed at our university," the school's president said Tuesday. (Read more Germany stories.)