Fatal school meal contained pesticide

Last updated 09:33 21/07/2013
Reuters

The Indian government will set up an inquiry into food given to school children in a nationwide free meal program after at least 23 children died.

Relevant offers

Asia

North Korea's Dear Respected Comrade leader gets a new title Thai mayor's foot gets stuck under heavy machinery in photo op gone wrong Vietnam court sentences Australian woman, 73, to death on heroin charges At least 27 killed in suicide attacks near Afghan capital Kabul Indian couple accused of faking widely praised Everest climb Footage emerges of furious Chinese wife slapping and stamping on her husband's 'mistress' China welcomes two giant panda cubs A fair chance for every child - a look at what it means to be young in 2016 Indonesian fake vaccine syndicate busted Korean police could charge NZ government official after diplomatic immunity waived

An initial forensic report has confirmed that the free school lunch that killed 23 children this week in India's eastern state of Bihar was contaminated with a pesticide, a senior police official has said.

The children fell ill within minutes of eating a meal of rice and potato curry in their one-room school on Tuesday, vomiting and convulsing with agonising stomach cramps.
 
The deaths sparked protests in Bihar. The lunch was part of India's Mid-Day Meal Scheme that covers 120 million children and aims to tackle malnutrition and encourage school attendance. It had already drawn widespread complaints over food safety.

The report found the meal was prepared with cooking oil that contained monocrotophos, an organophosphorus compound that is used as an agricultural pesticide, Ravindra Kumar, a senior police official, told reporters.

Police said on Friday they suspected the oil was kept in a container previously used to store the pesticide. They are still looking for the headmistress of the school, who fled after the deaths.

The World Health Organisation describes monocrotophos as highly hazardous.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content