19 Jul 2013

Poisoned children buried near school

5:48 am on 19 July 2013

Nineteen of 23 children who died from eating school food tainted with insecticide in the Indian state of Bihar, were buried in and around the school grounds on Thursday.

The BBC reports their parents want the graves to serve as a reminder their children died because of negligence.

In all, 47 primary school children fell ill after consuming a meal of rice and soybeans on Tuesday.

Twenty two were confirmed dead on Wednesday and another was confirmed dead the next day.

More than 100 people from other villages attended the funerals.

Officials said the headmistress of the government school, in the village of Dharmasati Gandaman in Saran district, had fled.

Children in other schools in four or five districts are now reported to be refusing to eat the free meal.

The BBC reports free food for students reaches 120 million children in 1.2 million schools across the country, according to the government.

The school kitchen where the deadly meal was cooked has been demolished by villagers.

Officials said the children showed symptoms of poisoning by organo-phosphorus, a compound also used as a pesticide for crops.

Bihar is one of India's most populated and poorest states.