Lifestyle & Belief

India: scorpion in school meal sickens 39 children


A rare six-inch Asian Emperor Scorpion.


Sam Yeh

At least 39 children at a primary school in Odisha, India, fell ill after eating a midday meal there Friday. Officials said a scorpion was spotted in their potato-soya curry.

The students were taken to the district headquarters hospital after they started vomiting. Most have been released, but three remained at the hospital for further treatment.

It’s been a tragic week for India’s universal free school program, which feeds more than 120 million students.

On Tuesday, 22 children died in Bihar, India, after eating a contaminated school meal of rice, soybeans and lentils.

The cooking oil used to make the meal had been purchased from a store owned by the husband of the school’s principal, causing suspicion that the poisoning was intentional, PRI reported. Police are searching for the principal, Meena Devi, who has not been seen since Tuesday.

More from GlobalPost: Poverty, not poison, killed Indian school lunch kids

Since the Tuesday deaths, other tainted school lunches have sent children to the hospital in India. On Wednesday, about 31 primary school students in Maharashtra got gastroenteritis from their school meal and 50 students at a middle school in Bisfi were treated for vomiting after eating food they say had a dead lizard in it.