Chocolates give a bitter experience

Students fall ill en masse after relishing ‘birthday treat’

Lalitpur, November 27:

A total of 27 students of Shanti Shramik Higher Secondary School at Chyasal, Lalitpur, were hospitalised when they fell sick after eating chocolates in the school this afternoon. The students have already returned home after getting preliminary treatment at Patan Hospital.

Sushila Koirala, a four-grade student of the school, distributed the chocolates to her

classmates to celebrate her birthday today.

“The students started vomiting en masse and we rushed them to Patan Hospital,” Braja Bhushan Ray, principal of the government-run school, said. “Later, we came to know that Sushila distributed the chocolates to all of the students,” he said.

Sushila’s elder sister Urmila said a stranger had given her the chocolates yesterday. “She ate three chocolates yesterday but that didn’t harm her,” she told this daily. “But today all the students who ate the chocolates vomited just five minutes later,” she added.

Madhav Kumar Nepal, Superintendent of Police at Metropolitan Police Range, Lalitpur, said that police were investigating into the case. “It is learnt that today was not Sushila’s birthday. We are trying to know why she distributed the chocolates and how did she got them,” he said.

He said food poisoning could be the reason of the mass vomiting. Police said they found a store in the house belonging to Ratna Byanjankar, where chocolates, like the ones distributed by Sushila, were kept. Byanjankar’s house is near the school. “We have to find out how the girl got the chocolates,” Nepal told this daily. He said that police collected some sample chocolates from the girl’s possession and has sent them to laboratory for tests.

Ray demanded formation of an investigation panel to find out the facts about the incident. “The incident may be a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the school,” he added.