As many as 125 students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Barahiya in Lakhisarai district, around 135 km east of state capital Patna, fell ill apparently due to suspected food poisoning in the wee hours of Friday.
The students complained of nausea and started vomiting at around 2.30 am on Friday — several hours after having dinner at the hostel on the school premises on Thursday night. A total of 80 students were rushed to the Barahiya Referral Hospital, while 45 were shifted to the nearby Lakhisarai Sadar Hospital.
Their condition was stated to be out of danger. Eighty students were subsequently discharged from the hospitals.
A probe has been ordered into the incident.
Lakhisarai DM Sobhendra Kumar Choudhary visited the school premises and ordered closure of the school for three days. The storeroom and kitchen of the school were sealed by the administration. An FSL team collected samples of rice, pulses, edible oil etc. from the sealed rooms in the evening.
“The cause of the illness will be known after the enquiry that is in progress,” the DM said. He instructed the officials concerned to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
The DM also visited the hospitals and instructed doctors and the hospital staff there to provide better medical services to the pupils.
Earlier, when the students were brought to the Referral hospital, only a few staff members were found there and several students could not be provided proper beds, people familiar with matter said.
Parents, who reached the school after receiving information about the illness of their wards, alleged poor quality food was being served at the school. Family members of one of the wards alleged that students often fell ill following food poisoning. “Lack of supervision by wardens and bickering among staff of the hostel are the reasons behind the incident. The students have become victims of poor hygiene during preparations of the food,” they said.
School principal Sachit Kumar did not reply when asked about these allegations.