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20 children fall ill after drinking water in Bihar school

Patna: At least six children fainted and 20 fell ill on Monday after drinking water at a school in Bihar's Bhojpur district, an official said. All were out of danger after receiving medical treatment.

The incident took place at a government-run primary school in Bangawan in the district, about 60 km from here, a district official said.

"Soon after drinking water during a break, children complained of uneasiness in stomach and started vomiting. Twenty of them fell ill and six of them fainted," the official said.

Official Chotak Upadhyay along with the parents of the children reached the school after being informed about the incident. "All the sick children were taken to Ara Sadar hospital and were discharged after initial treatment," he said. Upadhyay said some children told him they could detect the smell of some chemical in the water they had fetched from a hand-pump.

Last year, several such incidents were reported across the state, forcing the state government to order an inquiry. Last week, 24 students of a government primary school fell ill in the state's Bhagalpur district after eating a mid-day meal in which a dead lizard was found. According to education department officials, there have been 14 incidents of poisoning in the past seven months in the state, including the case from Bhagalpur.

Last year, 23 students died after eating a meal at a primary school in Saran district. In Bihar, 16 million students get food under the mid-day meal scheme, which is running in 72,000 schools across the state.

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