Eight children in Meghalaya's Ri-Bhoi district have died of suspected food poisoning while nearly 100 others were hospitalised, an official said on Tuesday.

The children died after consuming pork at a church gathering on Sunday at Nongkya village, Ri-Bhoi District Magistrate Chinmay P. Gotmare told IANS. "Three persons died on Monday and another five died on Tuesday morning in hospital," he said.

Gotmare said he had ordered a magisterial inquiry, headed by D. Kharsati, to ascertain what caused the deaths. Villagers claimed eating pork led to the tragedy.

He said a post mortem will be conducted to ascertain the cause of the deaths.

Health authorities have sent the food samples for test at a food laboratory in Assam main city of Guwahati.

Health and Family Welfare Minister, Roshan Warjri, visited the victims of food poisoning in hospital.

"I have directed the health officials to provide all necessary medical assistance to the victims," Warjri said.