#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 7°C Friday 3 December 2021
Advertisement

Home-made vodka has killed nearly 100 people in India

Over 40 people are being treated in hospital.

Image: Shutterstock/Steven Frame

THE DEATH TOLL from India’s latest incident of mass alcohol poisoning following the consumption of toxic home-made vodka rose to 90 today, Mumbai police said.

Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy police commissioner in the western Indian city, said it was possible that the number of dead from drinking the illicit moonshine could reach three figures.

“Ninety people have now died,” he said. “More than 40 are being treated in hospital and the death toll may reach 100,” the commissioner added.

Victims first started to fall ill on Wednesday morning after consuming the illegal booze and new patients were still being admitted to hospital on Saturday, Kulkarni said.

Five people have so far been arrested for distributing and selling the alcohol in a slum in the suburb of Malad West, in the north of the city.

Eight police officers have also been suspended for “negligence” for allowing the sale to take place on their patch, Kulkarni said.

An investigation is taking place over whether high levels of methanol were present in the moonshine, often called “country liquor” in India.

Methanol, a highly toxic form of alcohol used as anti-freeze or fuel, is often added to bootleg liquor in India as a cheap and quick method of upping the alcohol content.

Unlicensed liquor is widely consumed across the country where it is sometimes sold for less than a dollar for a 25cl bottle, with deaths frequently reported.

It is rare however for such incidents to occur in a major city like Mumbai, with most cases taking place in poor, rural villages.

The latest incident is the worst case of its kind to be recorded in Mumbai since 2004 when around 100 people died.

In January, more than 31 people died near Lucknow in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh after drinking a lethal batch of home-brew.

And police arrested 12 people in October 2013 after more than three dozen villagers died from toxic liquor also in Uttar Pradesh.

In 2011 nearly 170 people died in the eastern state of West Bengal after drinking moonshine.

Read: ‘My dad was a violent alcoholic. I vowed to make my daughter’s childhood better than mine.’

Read: Pregnant woman in court for assaulting two brothers with the heel of her stiletto shoe

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (7)