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School girl dies, over 160 hospitalized after given iron-supplement pills in India

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A girl student died Friday and over 160 children were hospitalized in western Indian state of Maharashtra after given iron supplement pills at a civic body-run school, officials said.

Reports said the 12-year-old girl was administered iron and folic acid tablets at school on Monday in Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra.

"The girl we are being told was given iron tablets at the Municipal Urdu School Number 2 at Bainganwadi in suburban Govandi," an official at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. "The girl skipped school on Tuesday but attended classes after that and died at her home on Thursday night after vomiting blood."

According to officials, students of BMC-run schools were given iron, folic acid and deworming tablets as part of federal government scheme aimed at fighting anemia among school children.

The death panicked the parents of other school children, who brought their children to Rajawadi Hospital at Ghatkopar and Shatabdi Hospital at Govandi.

"So many children were brought to the hospital and some complained of nausea and giddiness. However, no one had major signs or symptoms," BMC officials said. "The children were examined by pediatricians and nothing untoward was found."

Officials said it was too early to blame the iron supplement.

"Tablets given to the students are properly tested," a senior health official said. "The cause of the girl's death would only be known once the post-mortem report is available."

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