Five children have died and 96 other people have fallen seriously ill in eastern India after eating sweets and rice offered to a goddess at a village shrine, health officials said on Friday.
Children in Isua village, in Bihar, fell sick on Thursday during a festival to mark the full moon shortly after eating the temple offerings, known as prasad, made to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning.
"The children began vomiting and falling on the ground senseless," Ramvilas Ranjan, a health official in the district, said by telephone.
The dead children were between 4 and 7 years old. Most of those taken sick are also children.
Ranjan thinks it was probably food poisoning. Villagers told him the food had been kept in a store room for ten days. Tests are being done on the prasad.
In a similar incident in 2004, 11 children died after eating prasad at a different village temple in Bihar.
(Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Alex Richardson)