A girl student of a civic body-run school here died on Friday while over 470 other students were hospitalised due to suspected poisoning after they took iron-boosting medicines given by the school.
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, a statement from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
It added that she skipped school on Tuesday but attended classes on Wednesday and Thursday and died at her home last night after a “history of vomiting blood”.
The statement said 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 on Friday 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 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 paediatrician 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.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone VI, Shahaji Umap informed that the post mortem of the 12-year-old girl, which was carried out in the state-run JJ Hospital in Byculla, gave “broncho pulmonary haemorrhage” as the possible cause of death.
A final opinion was pending for “chemical analysis and histo-pathological examination reports”, he said.
Umap added that 471 students had been hospitalised for medical examination of which over 80 students were still admitted.