Child dead, 14 others in hospital after Stoney First Nation 'illness'

The RCMP are investigating after a child was found dead Wednesday morning on a Calgary-area First Nation — the victim of what officials are tentatively calling an illness.

'Illness of medical origin' tentatively blamed by paramedics as RCMP launch investigation

Emergency vehicles at the scene of a home where a child was found dead on Wednesday morning on Stoney First Nation Reserve, west of Calgary. (Jocelyn Boissonneault/CBC)

Read the latest on this story: Officials tight-lipped one day after child found dead on Stoney First Nation

The RCMP are investigating after a child was found dead Wednesday morning on a Calgary-area First Nation — the victim of what officials are tentatively calling an illness. 

Police and paramedics were called to a home on Stoney First Nation just before noon, local time, by reports of two children in medical distress.

When paramedics arrived, they found one child in serious condition, while the other was declared dead at the scene.

A total of 14 people were found in need of medical attention in addition to the dead child. Ten were children, Alberta Health Services said in a tweet. Four adults at the scene were also taken to hospital. 

According to Alberta Health Services, the patients presented with "influenza-like symptoms."

'Illness of medical origin'

Officials are still working out what caused the death and hospitalizations, but according to a spokesperson for Emergency Medical Services there are no "concerns of trauma or violence." 

"From the presentation of many of the patients that we transported, it seems to be an illness of medical origin, perhaps not necessarily an external factor but that is not yet determined," Stuart Brideaux said.

EMS spokesman Stuart Brideaux said they are still working to determine the cause of the incident, but they believe it to be medical in nature. (CBC)

Brideaux said six ambulances ultimately responded to the scene on Spring Road, and that patients who were assessed as being in stable condition were taken to hospital in groups of three and four.

A relative of the family speaking on behalf of the mother told CBC News all of the kids transported to hospital are siblings who ranged in age from about four months to 21. The family member said it was the baby who died.

Watson Kaquitts, a band councillor for the Wesley First Nations, said the residents of the home are members of a "big family," and the news of the child's death has shocked the community.

"We don't really know what happened in that house, we don't know what happened to that child that they lost," Kaquitts said.

"I know it's really tragic for the family."

RCMP's major crimes unit is investigating.