Children participating in a free lunch program in India began falling violently ill soon after they ate a free school lunch of rice, lentils, soybeans and potatoes on Tuesday. The food was tainted with insecticide and at least 22 children died and dozens hospitalized, according to officials.
It is not yet known how the chemicals ended up in the food at the school in the eastern state of Bihar. One official suggested the food may not have been properly washed before cooking.
The children, between the ages of 5 and 12, got sick soon after eating lunch. School authorities immediately stopped serving the meal as the children started vomiting. Children and the school cook were rushed to the hospital and at least three were in serious condition. The school’s headmistress fled.
The incident sparked violent protests, CBSNews reported.