Snake found in mid-day meal at Indian school

More than 30 primary school students in West Bengal’s Birbhum district were hospitalised after they consumed a meal in which a snake was found (Rajesh Dutta @RajeshD35635873/Twitter)
More than 30 primary school students in West Bengal’s Birbhum district were hospitalised after they consumed a meal in which a snake was found (Rajesh Dutta @RajeshD35635873/Twitter)

Several students from a school in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal reportedly fell sick after consuming food from a container in which a snake was found.

Around 20 students fell sick and were taken to a local hospital after eating lentils from a container in which the snake was found, said school authorities in the state’s Birbhum district, according to the Indian Express newspaper.

Several students of the Mandalpur primary school, where the incident occurred, allegedly vomited after consuming the meal.

While the students were later discharged from hospital, one student is still admitted, but is out of danger and in a stable condition, said police.

The school headmaster told local media that, after the woman found the snake, “everyone was asked to stop eating”.

Some village residents, upon coming to know of the incident, reached the school and vandalised the principal’s car, said local media reports.

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Police officials rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation, while the principal had to be sheltered by the officials from angry residents.

School authorities said two women had cooked the mid-day meal for students. One of the women had found the snake in the container in which the lentils were served to the students.

Praloy Naik, chairman of West Bengal’s Primary Education Board, admitted to “carelessness”.

“Those responsible for cooking and serving food to children should be more alert,” he said.

It was unclear if local police are investigating the incident.