Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

21 children killed in India by poisoned school lunch

At least 21 children have died in India and more than two dozen others were sick after eating a free school lunch tainted with insecticide.

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

The children, aged between eight and 11, fell ill soon after eating lunch on Tuesday in Gandamal village in Masrakh block, 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.

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

Authorities suspended a school official and registered a case of criminal negligence against the headmaster, who fled when the children fell ill.

Angry villagers closed shops and businesses and overturned and burned four police vehicles.

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