Close on the heels of 23 children’s death in Bihar after eating mid-day-meal, at least 39 students on Friday fell ill after consuming food, contaminated by a dead scorpion, served under the scheme at their school in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district, officials said.

Latika Behera (11), a class 5 student of the Upper Primary School at Siaria Tailasahi in Dhenkanal area, while consuming the meal allegedly spotted the scorpion in the served potato-soya curry, they said. Soon, the children complained of uneasiness and started vomiting. They were rushed to the district headquarters hospital here. 36 children were discharged after preliminary treatment, while three, including two girls, are undergoing treatment, Dhenkanal Block Extension Officer Dhanjaya Mohapatra said.

About 39 of the total of 48 students, most of them tribals, had attended the school on Friday and consumed the mid-day-meal, the officials said.