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Gas leak in hospital where Bihar midday meal victims are treated

Patna, July 19 (): Gas leak was reported in Patna hospital where school children were admitted for treatment for food poisoning in the Patna Medical College. Children along with other patients were soon evacuated after gas started leaking from an air conditioner duct in the children’s ward on Friday.

Children who fell sick after eating a mid-day meal at their school in Bihar’s Chhapra district were being treated in the Patna Medical hospital. Parents ran in panic holding their children after news of gas leak spread like wild-fire.  Dr Amarkant Jha Amar claimed that gas leak did not occur in the room where these children were admitted. The leak took place owing to a fluctuation in voltage, said hospital sources adding that the air conditioner has now been fixed and patients have been shifted back in the hospital.

Meanwhile, three days after the tragedy, the forensic report in the case is expected today, said officials.  The forensic report is expected to throw light on what actually poisoned the 23 children who lost their lives after eating the mid-day meals. The report by State Forensic Science Laboratory will provide more details in the case even though initial report claimed that the presence of insecticides might be the cause of death.

In yet another incident, two women cooks of a government middle school in Bihar’s Madhepura district were reported to have fainted today after eating the food which was prepared in the school for children. Rita Devi and Renu Devi who cooked the food fainted after eating the meals and were rushed to the health centre at Gamariah. The school principal then ordered the food to be thrown out.

Sources said the cooks getting fainted might further put Nitish Kumar in deep trouble as the Bihar government on Thursday published a high-flying ad in newspapers instructing school principals and cooks in the state to first taste the mid-day meal before it is served to children.