Two children have died in the northern Chinese province of Hebei after consuming yoghurt tainted with rat poison a kindergarten owner allegedly slipped into the drink.

The two girls, whose ages were not given, were found “foaming at the mouth” and suffered convulsions after drinking the yoghurt which their grandmother found by a roadside and brought home for the girls on April 24, Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

One of the girls died before reaching the hospital while the other died on Wednesday, reports AFP.

The kindergarten owner is said to have confessed to the poisoning because two schools were competing for village students, Xinhua quoted local police as saying.

A man who allegedly helped her place the poisoned yoghurt on the roadside close to the girls’ school has also been detained.

It was unclear from the report how the poisoning would have discredited the rival kindergarten, according to AFP.