In a shocking incident, a girl student of a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run school in Govandi of Mumbai died on Friday and 160 other students were hospitalised due to suspected poisoning after they took iron-boosting medicines given by the school.
According to a statement issued by the BMC, the 12-year-old girl was administered iron and folic acid tablets on Monday at the Municipal Urdu School Number 2 at Bainganwadi in suburban Govandi.
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The statement added that the victim attended classes on Wednesday and Thursday, adding she died at her home Thursday night after a "history of vomiting blood".
The BMC statement further said that the students of BMC-run schools were given iron, folic acid and deworming tablets as part of a Central government scheme aimed at fighting anaemia among children.
The civic body claimed that "there were no reports of any untoward incident" during this national programme.
Officials today said tuberculosis might be a cause behind the girl's death, though the BMC statement maintained that the "details of her previous illness are not known".
A BMC official said the parents of 161 other students of the school "panicked" and brought them to the civic body-run Rajawadi Hospital at Ghatkopar and Shatabdi Hospital at Govandi.
"A few children complained of nausea and giddiness. However, no one had major signs or symptoms," a senior BMC official said.
He added that all the children were examined by paediatricians and advised discharge from the hospitals.
Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer, BMC said the tablets given to the students were "tried and tested", adding that the cause of the girl's death would only be known once the post-mortem report came in.
A police official said the incident was being probed.