23 seriously ill after eating jatropha seeds | india | Hindustan Times
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23 seriously ill after eating jatropha seeds

As many as 23 students of a primary school were critically ill at a government hospital here Saturday, a day after they ate jatropha seeds and fell unconscious.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2009 14:22 IST

As many as 23 students of a primary school were critically ill at a government hospital here Saturday, a day after they ate jatropha seeds and fell unconscious.

The students, enrolled at a primary school based at village Khorpa in Raipur district, ate jatropha on their way home from school.

The students, all below 12 years of age, fell unconscious Friday night and were rushed to a local hospital early Saturday. Doctors then shifted them to the state's biggest Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital here.

"The kids have been kept under medical supervision, though some of them are showing signs of improvement, a few are critical. We are observing them minute-by-minute," Superintendent of Ambedkar Hospital Vivek Chaudhary told IANS.

Health Minister Amar Agrawal has asked hospital authorities to provide the best medical attention to students. In recent months, several incidents of school kids being rushed to hospital in critical condition after eating jatropha seeds have been reported from across the state.

Jatropha is a plant that grows up to three metres and produces inedible fruits. Several states, including Chhattisgarh, have been planting its saplings in millions in a bid to extract bio-fuel from it.

Some agricultural scientists say eating two seeds would act as a purgative while four or more could cause death.