India police arrest principal after 23 pupils die

PATNA, India (AP) — A police official says authorities have arrested the principal of a school in eastern India where 23 children died last week after eating lunch prepared with contaminated oil.

Superintendent Sujit Kumar said a police team investigating the deaths in Bihar state arrested Meena Kumari on Wednesday, nine days after she went into hiding.

Kumari fled as soon as the children began falling ill after eating lunch cooked in the school. Twenty-three children between the ages of 5 and 12 died from eating the meal and many others fell ill.

Forensic tests have revealed that the lunch served to the children contained toxic levels of a deadly pesticide.

Police were questioning Kumari to establish how the pesticide got mixed with the food, Kumar said.

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