Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

At least 99 dead after consuming toxic alcohol in India

At least 99 dead after consuming toxic alcohol in India

Officials in Uttar Pradesh could not be reached for latest casualty figures on Monday, but at least 69 people have died in the state, according to newspapers Indian Express and Times of India.

More than 70 people have died in the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the past three days after consuming cheap spurious liquor containing poisonous methanol.

In one district of Uttar Pradesh 59 people had died after consuming toxic alcohol, police spokesperson Shailendra Kumar Sharma told AFP.

Kumar said victims consumed liquor during two customary functions on Thursday night, adding that the post-mortem and initial forensic reports suggested the brew was laced with methanol.

Officials suspected the death toll is likely to go up in wake of many people admitted in hospitals. Around 1,066 liters of hooch have been seized during the raid and over 50 people detained in state, reports said.

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Authorities in the region also suspended over 30 officials, including 10 policemen, on charges of negligence or collusion in the illicit trade.

In the adjoining Haridwar district, the death toll had risen to 28, from 12 on Friday, broadcaster NDTV reported.

The liquor is usually made with poor-quality ingredients and sometimes mixed with industrial alcohol and toxic substances.

Deaths from illegally-produced alcohol, known locally as "hooch" or "country liquor", are a regular occurrence in India, where many can not afford branded spirits.

In 2015, more than 100 people died in a Mumbai slum after drinking illegal moonshine.

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