Staffer suspected of poisoning soup at UK school

LONDON (AP) — A kitchen worker at an exclusive English boarding school has been arrested for trying to poison a batch of soup being prepared for students, administrators said Wednesday.

The director of the Stowe School in Buckingham 75 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of London said a household cleaning agent was put into the carrot and coriander soup, but no one was injured because the soup wasn't served to students.

Kitchen staff became suspicious of the soup because of an acrid smell, head teacher Anthony Wallersteiner said.

"Before any meal is taken up from the kitchens to be served the food is tested, and it was during the routine sampling that one of the duty chefs discovered there was something acrid in the soup that was being prepared," he said.

The soup would have been offered to about 650 students who usually have dinner at the school, officials said.

Thames Valley Police said the suspect is a 58-year-old man with health problems. He is suspected of trying to administer poison with intent to endanger life and inflict grievous bodily harm.

Wallersteiner said the suspect has worked at the school for two years.

The suspect has been suspended and will not be allowed on school grounds, officials said.