Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baipariguda, Aug 18:
Two out of the 48 school students in Odisha’s Koraput district, who had been admitted to the local hospital after a suspected case of food poisoning, have been shifted to the sub divisional hospital at Jeypore after their condition deteriorated, said hospital sources.
Around 80 students of the residential school for tribal students in Ramgiri panchayat under Baipariguda block in Koraput district fell ill after having their dinner in the school on Sunday night.
The 48 sick students were first taken to the nearby Ramgiri hospital by a teacher, but had to be later shifted to the Baipariguda hospital through 108 ambulances and private vehicles as their condition became serious.
Those admitted to the hospital at Baipariguda were given saline drips and other medicines, said ADMO Koraput who had rushed to Baipariguda. He said the students had complained that the food had smelt like phenyle. He said the condition of most of the students was stable.
While some suspect that the food poisoning could be due to mixing of some pesticide in the food, the real reason is yet to be ascertained. Samples of the food were collected today by the district administration officials for conducting laboratory tests.
The local ADM and PA, Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) visited the school as well as the Baipariguda hospital today to find out what went wrong. The visiting officials have spoken to the school’s headmaster, other teachers and staff in this connection.
The school has a total of 325 students on its rolls, 225 boys and 100 girls. Food is cooked separately for boys and girls. 80 boys first sat for dinner in the first batch when a class X student Kartik Sisa complained of pesticide smell emanating from the food followed by all those who were having dinner.
As the news spread, Baipariguda BDO Subash Chandra Singh and District Welfare Officer (DWO) Prakash Kumar Nayak rushed to the hospital at night to take stock of things.