Over one hundred Afghan school students fall ill

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(11 Apr 2015) RESTRICTION SUMMARY: AP CLIENTS ONLY
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Herat City - 11 April 2015
1. Various of poisoned students in hospital ward
2. Student in hospital ward, talking on cell phone
3. Close of IV in arm
4. SOUNDBITE (Dari) Malika Paygham, head of Herat regional hospital:
"We have registered around 82 students from Fatiha high school located in the Naw Abad area of Herat City. The students got poisoned before entering their class while eating boiled beans, and in 40 to 50 minutes their conditions got worse."
5. Various of poisoned students in hospital ward
6. Mid of student laying in bed of hospital ward
7. SOUNDBITE (Dari) Ahmad Zubair, student:
"A man selling boiled beans told us to eat them. After eating the beans we felt bad and started vomiting, and we were all brought to the hospital."
8. Hospital workers receiving student exiting an ambulance
9. Student in hospital ward
STORYLINE:
More than 100 students from the same school in Afghanistan's western Herat province have been hospitalised after falling ill, a health official said on Saturday.
Rafiq Sherzai, a doctor at Herat's regional hospital, said the students were between 7 and 12 years old and all attended the Fatiha School in the city of Herat, the provincial capital.
However, Abdul Raouf Ahmadi, a spokesman for Herat's provincial police chief, said that only a dozen students were affected. He blamed the children's illnesses on eating "expired beans."
He said police were investigating the incident.
Malika Paygham, head of the Herat regional hospital, said on Saturday that they had registered around 82 students from the school.
She added that "their condition got worse" after they ate boiled beans before entering class.
A student in the hospital ward also said he and the other students got ill after eating the beans.
Food poisoning and waterborne illnesses remain prevalent in Afghanistan, which has suffered through decades of war and has limited public infrastructure.
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