- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Twenty-two children have died after eating a free school lunch in India that was tainted with insecticide, authorities said on Wednesday.

It’s not known how the food became tainted, The Associated Press reported. Some theorize that school lunch staff at the Bihar facility may have failed to properly clean the food before cooking it. The meal was made of rice, lentils, soybeans and potatoes.

The staff stopped serving the dish after children began to vomit, AP reported.

The children were all between the ages of 8 and 11. In addition to 22 dying, another 26 were sickened by the food and rushed to the hospital, including the cook. Authorities are still concerned that some of those who are ill could die, AP reported. At least 10 were listed in critical condition.

A preliminary investigation found the insecticide was used for rice and wheat crops — though victims’ families aren’t satisfied with that finding. They say the problem was with the soybeans and potatoes, since several children did not eat those dishes and did not fall ill, AP reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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