Over 50 students of TRW Ashram School at Nehurupanka under Chandrapur block here were taken ill on Tuesday night after consuming food served in the hostel.
The students, aged between eight and 10 years, complained of nausea, vomiting and stomach pain after eating food at the school hostel. Authorities of the school, having a strength of 304 students including 150 girls, often serve tiffin to the students in the evening.
Headmaster of the school Suryanarayan Dibaka said on Tuesday evening, the hostel staff served water-soaked flattened rice with sugar to the students. A few hours after they took the food, some students started vomiting and complained of nausea. They were immediately admitted in Chandrapur health centre and soon 50 more students complained of similar ailment and the district health officials were informed about the matter. Later in the night, 22 of 50 students were shifted from Chandrapur health centre to Muniguda hospital.
A mobile health team with three ambulances from Muniguda and Rayagada reached the school and administered medicines to other students who had taken the food. On Wednesday, some students alleged that a lizard was found in the flattened rice and was removed by a staff who served the food. However, the hostel staff denied any such occurrence.
Rayagada Chief District Medical Officer Ananda Padhi said 11 students who were undergoing treatment at Muniguda hospital are recovering. The sample of the flattened rice and sweet water will be sent for examination to ascertain the exact cause of the students’ illness. Meanwhile, Collector Sashibhusan Padhi visited Muniguda hospital on Wednesday evening.
Paediatric specialist Manoranjan Rout told the Collector that food poisoning appeared to be the cause of the incident.