Over 50 women inmates of the Byculla jail were rushed to the hospital on Friday morning due to suspected food poisoning, officials said.

According to reports, the number of inmates taken ill varies between 50 and 80.

As many as 78 women prisoners of Byculla jail were admitted to J J Hospital after they complained of nausea, vomiting and loose motion, a report quoted hospital sources as saying.

Their condition is now “stable”, said Dr Wiqar Shaikh who is heading the team treating them.

The women’s jail houses nearly 210 inmates. The cause of the suspected food poisoning is being investigated.

“This morning, several women prisoners complained of vomiting and dehydration and were examined by health officials. Later, they were referred to the hospital where they are now under observation. There were no complaints from male prisoners or jail staff,” Inspector-General of Police (Prisons) Rajvardhan Sinha said.

Sinha said till mid-morning around 58 women inmates/undertrials were admitted to the hospital.

There was no information if the jail’s most high-profile undertrial — former media baron Indrani Mukerjea, who is a co-accused in the Sheena Bora murder case — was among those affected.

A male prisoner had suffered from cholera three days ago and was treated, while all other prisoners were given prophylactics by health authorities, he said.

Meanwhile, security was beefed up at the hospital after the inmates/undertrials were admitted for medical treatment.