This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
Advertisement

At least 99 confirmed dead after drinking toxic alcohol in India

Police suspect methanol had been added to the alcohol.

Image: Shutterstock/Valentyn Volkov

AT LEAST 99 people have died and scores have been hospitalised in northern India after drinking toxic alcohol, triggering a crackdown against bootleggers, officials said today.

News of the deaths in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand has trickled in over the past three days, with police suspecting the moonshine had been cut with methanol.

Cheap, locally-made liquor is common in parts of rural India and bootleggers often add methanol — a highly toxic form of alcohol sometimes used as an anti-freeze — to their product to increase its strength.

If ingested in large quantities, methanol can cause blindness, liver damage and death.

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

In a neighbouring district a senior police officer said nine had died, adding that 66 suspected bootleggers had been arrested and samples of the liquor sent to a laboratory for testing.

Police said at least 31 people died in neighbouring Uttarakhand state and that two had been arrested on suspicion of supplying the liquor.

Newspaper reports said around 3,000 people linked with the illegal trade were arrested across Uttar Pradesh in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Hundreds of poor people die every year in India due to alcohol poisoning, mostly from consuming cheap alcohol.

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

Of the estimated 5 billion litres of alcohol drunk every year in India, around 40% is illegally produced, according to the International Spirits and Wine Association of India.

© – AFP 2019

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (14)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel