Patna, July 5: At least nine children died and about 100 people took ill after consuming suspected poisoned prasad at Birhiabad village in the Raghopur area of Vaishali district in Bihar.
All of them had taken the prasad at a temple after Ashad Puja on the occasion of Buddha Purnima on Saturday night. They fell ill soon after.
The district magistrate confirmed the death of the nine children, aged between three and 10. They belonged to the backward castes.
While seven children died of gastro-intestinal problems last night, two others succumbed this morning in a hospital.
About 40 children have been put on saline in the local government dispensaries and over 50 are being treated privately at different clinics in Patna, sources said.
The official version so far is that a lizard must have fallen into the milk used to prepare the sweets.
“Many complained of a burning sensation and mild pain in the stomach, eventually leading to dysentery,” district magistrate H.R. Srinivasan said.
“We have despatched a special medical team to take care of those who have been affected. A high-level investigation team is also looking into the untoward incident,” the district magistrate added.
A sample of the contaminated prasad has been sent to Patna for examination.
In another suspected case of food poisoning 12 days ago, seven children had died after drinking contaminated tea at a village in Bihta block of Patna district.
The children and the affected persons belonged to Birangabad, Begiaganj, Malipur, Chandipur, Ibrahimabad, Jagdishpur, Mohanpur and other villages of Raghopur block. Hajipur subdivisional officer R.K. Singh said medical teams under the supervision of the Vaishali district civil surgeon were treating the affected.