Article courtesy of Lalit Kumar | September 27, 2014 | The Times of India | Shared as educational material
Muradnagar (Ghaziabad): As many as 24 students and three teachers of a local government school were on Friday morning hospitalized after drinking water from a hand pump in their school. Doctors said five of the children were “seriously ill”.
Modinagar circle officer Swapnil Bengai said, “Nuts and bolts of the pump were found loose. We do not rule out the possibility of someone deliberately poisoning the hand pump water. We’ll register an appropriate case after laboratory report of samples taken arrives.”
Bengai did not say who the police suspect could be responsible for the poisoning, or why anyone would commit such an act. Muradnagar education officer Yogesh Sharma, who visited the spot, said two empty liquor bottles were found in the vicinity of the hand pumps.
Samples of the water have been sent to Ghaziabad Jal Nigam and Ghaziabad district hospital to identify the poison possibly injected in the water, though neither body has facilities to carry out analyze the poison. Modinagar sub-divisional magistrate Krishna Karunesh said, “It’s possible the district hospital and jal nigam don’t have the facilities. But if they cannot identify the poison, they will know where to have the sample analyzed.”
Bengai said, “We sent the kids, aged six to 12 years, to Muradnagar’s primary health centre (PHC).” PHC chief Vikasendu Agarwal said most of the 24 students and three teachers were brought there were discharged by evening. “Most of them reported vomiting, stomach ache, vertigo and mental shock. But there are five children who have additional symptoms such as irregular or rapid heartbeat. We’re giving them special attention. Some kids were given a stomach wash.”
One of the affected students, 12-year-old Akash, said, “After morning prayers, some of us drank from the hand pump. It had a strange taste today. A little later, we got stomach aches and began to vomit. Then we were brought to this hospital.”