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Thursday, 24 August, 2000, 03:32 GMT 04:32 UK
Thousands ill in India rice scare
India rice field
The rice was eaten at a religious ceremony
Three-thousand people are reported to be in hospital in India after eating contaminated rice.

Police in the central city of Bhopal, the state capital of Madhya Pradesh, say the outbreak began at a religious ceremony.

The victims have been suffering dizziness, blurred vision and diarrhoea.

A police spokesman said most of those taken ill were women and children.

Arrested

They are believed to have bought the rice from three traders in Bairagarh, a suburb of Bhopal.

The traders are reported to have been arrested and their shops sealed by police.

It is not clear how seriously ill the victims are. Police say no deaths have been reported.

Bhopal was the scene of the world's worst chemical accident in December, 1984, when a cloud of toxic gas leaked from a Union Carbide factory in the city.

More than 3,500 people died and thousands more were affected.

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