Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Traveller died from 'mystery' bowel infection in India

A young backpacker died suddenly after contracting a mystery bowel infection while in India, an inquest has heard.

Samuel Bank was taken to hospital in New Delhi after he started to vomit a "dark, granular" liquid, Portsmouth Coroner's Court was told.

The 20-year-old, of Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire, died at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in the Indian capital on 25 June last year.

Coroner David Horsley recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

The aspiring film-maker had been on an extended holiday backpacking in India with some friends for about three months.

Polluted river

Barbara Borek, a pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination on Mr Banks' embalmed body, said that he died of a perforated bowel probably caused by an infection.

But she said that tests had been unable to ascertain which infection he had suffered from.

"It does remain a mystery," she said.

The inquest heard there had been reports that Mr Banks had swum in the highly polluted River Ganges before his death.

But Mr Banks' mother, Louise, said that his friends had denied this.

Recording his verdict, Mr Horsley said: "I am so awfully, awfully sorry.

"It's a terrible thing to happen, it is a nightmare situation for a young man to go away with friends to India and something like this to happen."

Mr Banks' father, Graham, described his son as a boy of "strong convictions tempered by a great sense of humour".

"His love of, and involvement in, drama, music and cricket shaped his life," he said.

"A few days before he died he heard that he had been accepted for the film-making degree course he longed to take.

"We and his brother and two sisters are missing him desperately."

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