A mistake by a primary school student in Vietnam resulted in 44 children consuming toilet cleaning powder and thinking it was tea.

On March 4, a boy named Quyet found a red packet with Korean and English letters on a teacher’s motorbike in the yard of the Bac An Primary School in Hai Duong province, VN Express reported.

He claimed the pack contained ‘Thai Lipton Tea’ and invited his friends to try it. The children took the pack to their classroom and passed it around to other students, saying the pack contained ‘milk tea’ and ‘calcium sticky rice.’

A total of 44 students in two fifth grade classes who consumed the powder suffered abdominal pain, nausea and mouth burns. They were taken to the Hai Duong General Hospital for treatment. More than 10 students were released after two days of treatment, with the rest in stable condition.

An unnamed student described the substance as a white powder that looked like sugar but tasted sour and spicy. He spat it out and felt a burning sensation in his mouth and on his tongue.

The teacher who owned the powder said she had bought it in the morning before going to work and added she did not expect the children to mistake it for food and consume it.

According to staff at the hospital, two of the children will have to remain there for a longer period because they were suffering from ulcers in the esophagus and stomach as they had ingested the powder.