Twenty-two children have died and more than two-dozen have been hospitalized after consuming a school lunch in Masrakh, a city fifty miles north of Patna, India, USA Today is reporting.
Indian officials confirmed on Wednesday, July 17th, that the lunch had been infected with insecticide. It is possible that the ingredients were not washed properly before they were served to the children.
All of the children are between the ages of 5 and 12, and fell ill on Tuesday after eating a lunch of rice, lentils, soybeans, and potatoes that was cooked in the school kitchen.
The lunch is a part of a national program that provides hot meals to children from impoverished families, and authorities have suspended the official in charge of the campaign.
Twenty-five children and the school cook in the hospital brings the number up to 47 people who have been affected by the lunch, none of whom are the school headmaster, who fled the school when he was informed of the illnesses and has since been charged with criminal negligence.