A very sad story
hope they can find the person behind all this soon
China investigates mass poisoning
Beijing appears to be playing down the crisis
China has ordered an investigation into the cause of a mass outbreak of food poisoning near the eastern city of Nanjing which may have killed at least 100 people, many of them children.
One minute he was sitting there eating and the next he stood up and keeled over
Witness Peng Yongqing
State media had reported that 40 people had died and hundreds were receiving treatment after eating breakfast from a outlet in the town of Tangshan on Saturday.
But the BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Beijing says that since then, reports appear to have been censored, with references to the number of casualties removed.
The outlet has been closed and the authorities have taken its owner in for questioning.
Investigators have also sealed off an alley near opposite the outlet where its food was cooked at a stall.
Local people have told Reuters news agency that the actual death toll is greater than 100 - a figure echoed by independent Chinese media in Hong Kong.
No cause of the outbreak has been suggested officially but Hong Kong papers say the victims' symptoms suggest rat poison.
Victims had eaten breakfast snacks such as dough sticks and rice balls from the tiny fast-food outlet, a branch of the Heshengyuan Soy Milk chain on Tangshan's main street.
Witnesses described how people began spitting blood and then collapsed after taking just a few mouthfuls of the snacks.
Local hospitals were swamped by victims
Peng Yongqing, who owns a store next to the outlet, said he saw one elderly man collapse after eating breakfast from the outlet.
"It happened right there in front of my store," he told Reuters.
"One minute he was sitting there eating and the next he stood up and keeled over. We all thought he was choking, we had no idea what was wrong."
Mr Peng said the man had died on the way to hospital.
Many of the victims were boarding school students at the Zuochang Middle School which bought breakfast from the shop each day.
According to one Chinese newspaper, students went into shock after taking only a couple of bites of their food, spitting mucus and blood and falling to the ground unconscious.
Migrant construction workers were also among those affected.
Food poisoning deaths have sometimes occurred in China from restaurants using cheaper industrial salts instead of edible salt.
State media reported that food poisoning killed 146 people and affected more than 15,000 others last year, with many caused by rat poison, chemicals and bacteria.
Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper has cited analysts as saying the Tangshan symptoms were consistent with exposure to rat poison.
The media are now stressing the fact that the central government is acting to tackle the problem.
The Communist Party's major national Congress meeting is due to begin in just a few weeks' time and, our correspondent says, the authorities are highly sensitive about any bad news ahead of it.