Poisoned food sickens 30 children

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Beijing -

A Chinese woman has been detained for killing two children at a preschool nursery and making 30 others ill with poisoned food, state media said.

The woman - a security guard at the premises angered over having to leave her living quarters - “put poison into a bag of snacks and left it in the classroom”, Xinhua said late on Wednesday, citing police in Qiubei county, in the south-western province of Yunnan.

Two girls aged four and five died, the news agency previously reported following the poisoning on March 19.

Another five pupils were in a critical condition immediately after the poisoning, and a further 25 received hospital treatment.

A Qiubei local official told AFP Thursday that all the sickened pupils had been released from hospital.

The suspect, 44-year-old Zhao Jianzhi, had admitted the crime, the Xinhua report said.

China has a shortage of state-run preschool nurseries, and private nurseries in the country are often either very expensive or suffer from poor facilities, unqualified teachers and shortcuts on safety.

Earlier this week, the head of a nursery in the northern province of Hebei and an accomplice were sentenced to death for killing two children with poisoned yoghurt, state-run media reported.

The pair poisoned the children last year in a revenge attack on a rival facility which had higher enrolment, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Several nurseries across the country were accused last month of illegally administering medicines to preschoolers after pupils at two nurseries in the northern province of Shaanxi were fed antivirals.

State-run media said the drugs were administered in a bid to boost the pupils' immune systems and guarantee attendance, which is linked to school revenue in China. - Sapa-AFP


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