Three people die after eating mushrooms for lunch as cops launch probe

Police are investigating a string of deaths related to the consumption of a mushroom lunch, with three people dead after the meal.

A fourth is currently recovering in hospital after eating a poisonous mushroom, with police investigating whether the consumption of the toxin is suspicious.

Four people fell ill after eating the mushrooms at a property in Leongatha, Australia, with three of the four diners dead after the mushroom was consumed.

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Heather Wilkinson, 66, and her sister Gail Patterson, 70, as well as Gail's husband Don Patterson, 70, were found dead at the property while Ian Wilkinson survived the horror meal.

Mr Wilkinson, a pastor, is in a critical condition following on from the poisoned meal and is still in hospital as of Monday, August 7.

Family members released a statement regarding the death of their loved ones, which read: "The past week has been a time of shock and grief for us all. They were parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and pillars of faith within our community."

Locals were also shocked and upset by the news, with The Sun reporting the outpouring of grief from those who knew the four poisoned individuals.

One said: "This sort of thing doesn’t happen in our town."

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South Gippsland mayor Nathan Hersey paid tribute to the three deceased, saying: "All the people who are involved are very well known in our community, which is a tight-knit community, and very well-respected and loved."

A Victoria Police spokesperson added: "At this time the exact circumstances are still being established and it is not known if the matter is suspicious."

A 48-year-old was quizzed by officers and later released, while health officials launched a probe into the foodstuff as experts warn against certain mushrooms.

The foraged items can cause symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness, brought on by the poisoning.

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