The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 17, 2013

21 children die after eating school lunch in India

PATNA, India (AP) — At least 21 children died and more than two dozen others were sick after eating a free school lunch that was tainted with insecticide, Indian officials said Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear how chemicals ended up in the food in a school in the eastern state of Bihar. One official said the food may not have been properly washed before it was cooked.

The children, between the ages of 8 and 11, fell ill Tuesday soon after eating lunch in Gandamal village in Masrakh block, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the state capital of Patna. School authorities immediately stopped serving the meal of rice, lentils, soybeans and potatoes as the children started vomiting.

Savita, an 11-year-old student who uses only one name, said she had a stomach ache after eating soya and potatoes and started vomiting.

"I don't know what happened after that," Savita told The Associated Press at Patna Medical College Hospital, where she and many other children were recovering.

The lunch, part of a popular national campaign to give at least one daily hot meal to children from poor families, was cooked in the school kitchen.

The children were rushed to a local hospital and later to Patna for treatment, said state official Abhijit Sinha.

In addition to the 21 children who died, another 26 children and the school cook were hospitalized, he said. Ten of them were in serious condition.

Authorities suspended an official in charge of the free meal scheme in the school and registered a case of criminal negligence against the school headmaster, who fled as soon as the children fell ill.

Angry villagers, joined by members of local opposition parties, closed shops and businesses near the school and overturned and burned four police vehicles.

P.K. Sahi, the state education minister, said a preliminary investigation suggested the food contained an organophosphate used as an insecticide on rice and wheat crops. It's believed the grain was not washed before it was served at the school, he said.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee