A father holds his limp child in his arms, carrying her from the school he trusted to take care of her. A video camera focuses on his face locked in total anguish. Everyone around him is shouting. He goes to the back of an open van and struggles to keep the white blanket he's wrapped around his child's body from slipping as he lays the body down.
The mother of a 5-year-old repeatedly calls her daughter's name.
Why aren't you coming back, she pleads.
"Why isn't anyone bringing Dipu back?!"
These moments came in the wake of the deaths of 23 Indian children who were poisoned by school lunches they were given Tuesday, authorities say.
The students, who authorities said were between the ages of 5 and 12, started vomiting soon after their first bite of rice and potatoes at their government primary school in the northern state of Bihar. Some fainted.
Earlier, authorities had said 22 children had died, but on Thursday district magistrate Abhijit Sinha explained that one deceased boy had not been counted in the initial death toll because his father had taken his body without handing it over for autopsy.
Grief and anger so permeate this poverty-stricken community that parents of at least three children have buried their lost ones near the school -- one right in front of the building, according to CNN journalists who saw the burial mounds. Sinha told CNN that the burials were acts of protest.
Demonstrations have popped up around the area as people seek answers about how this tragedy could have happened. One video segment showed men apparently attacking a school bus with sticks. Others gathered and held signs.
Students at nearby schools refused to eat.
"I am scared now. ... There is fear in our hearts," one child told CNN sister network CNN-IBN.
Meanwhile, a top federal official said authorities had warned of safety problems with the state's school meal program months ago.
And police told CNN that investigators have been unable to find the headmistress of the school in order to question her.
Authorities have not named the headmistress and her husband, whom they also want to interview, local police chief Sujit Kumar said Thursday.
Was it the oil?
On Thursday, 25 people remained hospitalized. Cameras captured children lying in an open space on cots; one writhed and sobbed while another stayed still, staring with glassy eyes.
The school cook, Manju Devi, is also hospitalized. The cook's accounts of the incident are under scrutiny.
Bihar state Education Minister P.K. Shahi said the children were poisoned by an insecticide that was in the food.
Shahi said he heard reports that the cook had questioned the quality of the oil she was supposed to use, but was overruled by the school's headmistress.
"The information which has come to me indeed suggests that the headmistress was told by the cook that medium of cooking was not proper, and she suspected the quality of the oil," Shahi said. "But the headmistress rebuked her, and chastised the children, and forced them to continue the meal."
It's unclear how the children were "forced" to continue eating.
On Thursday, the cook told Reuters on tape: "When I saw the oil it looked like it had a layer at the bottom of the jar. I thought that this is locally made oil, as often there is an accumulation of residual waste at the bottom when the oil is domestically prepared. Generally we get just about enough oil to prepare one meal, as there is no space for storage."
But in a later interview with CNN the same day, the cook said she didn't suspect anything unusual about the oil.
Report expected Thursday night
Sinha, the district magistrate, said an inquiry into the deaths is under way, CNN sister network CNN-IBN reported.