At least 22 schoolchildren died in north eastern India after eating free school lunches that contained a poison, a state official said.

More than 25 others were hospitalized in Bihar state,said Bihar Education Minister P.K. Shahi, after ingesting an insecticide that was in the food.

One remains critical, the hospital said.
The poison was organophosphorus, a chemical that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is commonly used in agriculture.

It is a nerve agent related to sarin gas, which is usedin chemical warfare, the U.S. Health Department says.

Exposure to a high dose can cause an irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, paralysis and seizures.

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