Two dead, 31 ill from food poisoning

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Kapurthala: Two children died of suspected food poisoning at an ashram for mentally challenged children here while 31 others were taken to hospital after they also developed similar symptoms and started vomiting on Tuesday morning.

The deceased children were aged 10 and 12.

Deputy Commissioner Jaskiran Singh said 33 children lived at Sukhjit Ashram situated near the railway station here. On Monday night, two children showed symptoms of food poisoning and started vomiting. In an hour, one of them died while another died on Tuesday morning.

In the morning, six to seven children also started vomiting and were rushed to the civil hospital as a precautionary measure. All 31 children are under the observation of doctors.

The Deputy Commissioner said the cause of deaths was not yet clear but an inquiry had been ordered. Samples of food have also been taken. Health teams have been camping in the ashram.

Later, it was found that the children were reportedly served langar by unidentified people. The ashram did not make an entry in the register about the identity of those who served food to the kids.