Two Children in Critical Condition After Drinking Apple Juice at Buffet Restaurant: Police

The apple juice burned the children's mouths and throats, authorities said.

A 10-year-old boy and his 4-year-old half-sister are in critical condition after drinking apple juice at a Pennsylvania restaurant that caused severe burns, authorities said.

Richie Zaragoza and Ginaya Mendoza remain hospitalized at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

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The children began vomiting after drinking the liquid at Star Buffet & Grill, according to Lt. Robin Weaver of the East Lampeter Township Police Department.

Richie was throwing up blood and screaming, "It burns! It burns!" his mother, Virginia Davis, told Lancaster Online. The boy also suffers from cystic fibrosis and diabetes, his family said.

The children and a group of adults had gone to the Chinese buffet to celebrate Richie’s birthday on Friday evening, police said.

Restaurant manager Steven Wang told that the apple juice had come from a nearby supermarket. He said he had "no idea," what had caused the children to become ill.

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“They took the apple juice away,” Wang said of the police.

Tests are now being run on the liquid, Weaver said.

"We’re still in the very early stages of the investigation," Weaver said. Investigators are questioning each employee of the restaurant, he said, but have been hampered by language barriers.

The workers speak Chinese and Spanish, so interpreters have to be found for each interview, Weaver said.

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