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Worldislandinfo via flickr/Creative Commons

British woman dies after drinking 'tainted alcohol'

The 23-year-old was travelling with a fellow Briton through rainforest, when they drank four bottles of local whiskey.

A BRITISH BACKPACKER has died while trekking through the Indonesian jungle after she drank suspected tainted alcohol, police said Saturday.

Cheznye Emmons, 23, was travelling with fellow Briton Joseph Cook, 21, through lush rainforest on Sumatra island, where many tourists go to see endangered orangutans, according to a police report into the incident.


The pair, accompanied by a third tourist, drank four bottles of local whiskey called Mansion on April 20, according to the document.

Police said they were investigating whether the alcohol was laced with methanol, which is highly poisonous. They said they were awaiting lab test results before deciding whether to open a criminal case.

“We are going to ask the owner of the shop” about what happened, local detective Rosyid Hartanto told AFP .

We don’t know whether the drinks were mixed when they bought them at the shop, or whether they have returned to their accommodation and mixed them with other things.

The morning after consuming the alcohol, Emmons told staff at the accommodation where she was staying, in the Bukit Lawang area of Sumatra, that she had a stomach ache.

She was admitted to hospital in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, after checking out.

“On April 23, the owners of the accommodation… received the news that (she) had died,” the report said.

A spokeswoman for the British embassy in Jakarta said: “It’s with regret that we can confirm the recent death of a British national in Medan.”

There have been many previous cases where methanol-laced alcohol has proved fatal in Indonesia. In 2009, 25 people including four foreigners died after drinking methanol-laced palm wine on the resort island of Bali.

- © AFP, 2013

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