Iran investigates poisoning of hundreds of schoolgirls with toxic gas
Hundreds of schoolgirls have fallen sick and scores have been hospitalized in Iran’s holy city of Qom in recent months, with some parents and officials suspecting they were poisoned.
But the authorities, which have launched an investigation into the mysterious wave of illnesses, have not found any evidence of poison. No deaths have been reported.
The incidents have prompted public anger, with some Iranians accusing the government of negligence. Some parents have refused to let their children attend school.
In the latest incident, 15 schoolgirls were transferred to a hospital in Qom on February 22, the Qom News outlet reported, saying the students were in stable condition and under observation.
The first incident is believed to have occurred in November, when 18 schoolgirls in Qom were taken to a hospital after complaining of symptoms that included nausea, headaches, coughing, breathing difficulties, heart palpitations, and numbness and pain in their hands or legs.
Since then, hundreds of students in Qom, mostly girls, have fallen ill with similar symptoms in a number of public schools, which are segregated by gender. Dozens have received treatment, while others have been hospitalized.