Patna: The Bihar government has formed an eight-member team to probe into the mid day meal tragedy which took place in Chhapra. Twenty three children, of a government primary school, lost their lives after eating a mid day meal served to them. Blood samples of four children, who are in critical condition, were sent to Mumbai in order to carry forward the investigations.
The incident took place last week as the children fell ill within minutes after eating a meal of rice and potato curry in their one-room school. They were vomiting and convulsing with stomach cramps - symptoms that experts say would be common in poisoning with such a toxic chemical.
The lunch was a part of India's Mid-Day Meal Scheme, which aims to tackle malnutrition and encourage 120 million poor children to attend school. It had already drawn widespread complaints over food safety.
An initial forensic investigation found that the Bihar children's meal had been prepared with cooking oil that contained monocrotophos - a substance that belongs to a family of chemicals called organophosphates that share a common mechanism of toxic action.