Two children remain in a critical condition after drinking apple juice in a restaurant which left them coughing up blood.
Richie Zaragoza, 10, and his four-year-old half-sister Ginaya Mendoza are believed to have ingested a chemical substance which left them with serious burns to the mouth and throat.
The horrific incident unfolded at Star Buffet and Grill in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Friday afternoon.
The children were visiting the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant with their mother Virginia Davis, her brother-in-law and two other siblings for Richie’s tenth birthday.
Both Richie and Ginaya drank from apple juice served in foam cups.
Ginaya “started spitting saliva” out and then threw up.
The family were concerned, but the situation became more serious when Richie Richie took a sip immediately started screaming “It burns! It burns!” his mother told LancasterOnline.
He then began throwing up blood.
Virginia’s brother-in-law then tasted the apple juice and said it tasted acidic.
The children were rushed to hospital where they remain in a critical, but stable condition.
Richie’s condition is complicated by the fact he already suffers from cystic fibrosis and diabetes.
The restaurant manager, Steve Weng, said the apple juice had been bought from a local supermarket.
Police are investigating and have sent the apple juice away to be tested.
According to LancasterOnline, initial results have found traces of methanol.