Around 300 students were taken ill after a suspected chemical leak from a nearby sugar mill in Shamli in Uttar Pradesh. According to reports, the children – students of Saraswati Vidya Mandir and Saraswati Junior High School – inhaled fumes of a chemical that was used to treat garbage at the plant.
The students were taken to district and private hospitals after they complained of burning eyes, breathlessness, nausea and stomach ache.
Over two dozen children are believed to be seriously ill and some of them have been referred to a bigger hospital in Meerut.
"Between 30 and 35 children are in a serious condition, 15 have been referred to Meerut," said Surjeet Singh, a senior district official.
The childrens' parents say waste from a sugar factory is dumped at a site not far from the school.
Parents of the affected students have demanded strict action against the sugar mill’s employees and owners.
When the children were heading to school today, factory workers were in the process of burning the waste products, which allegedly gave off toxic fumes.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has ordered the commissioner of Saharanpur to look into the incident and asked the district magistrate and all local officers to help the affected children.