At least 99 dead after consuming toxic alcohol in India

11 February, 2019, 22:26 | Author: Carlos George
  • Bootleg alcohol laced with toxic methanol kills 39, leaves 27 ill in northern India

An estimated 91 people have died in Saharanpur and Haridwar, adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states, after consuming the methanol-laced brew on Thursday.

The city of Saharanpur's top administrative officer said a man had distributed some 30 pouches of the poisonous liquor that caused the deaths, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported.

Alok Kumar Pandey, district magistrate, said a feast had taken place where several of the deaths occurred.

Officials confirmed the death toll has mounted to 72, however, local media reports suggest the tragedy has claimed over 100 lives.

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

In Rorkee of Haridwar district in Uttarakhand the death toll has risen to 28 and many others are hospitalized.

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Bootleg liquor operations flourish in rural India, where many people can't afford to buy alcohol from state-approved shops.

According to the India's National Crime Records Bureau's latest figures, 1,522 people died from drinking spurious liquor in 2015 - almost all of them men.

The government of Uttar Pradesh has launched a full-fledged investigation into the incident. Officials said several people have been detained for questioning.

The authorities have suspended 13 excise department personnel and four policemen in Uttarakhand.

The local governments in both the states have announced a compensation of 2,806 USA dollars to the next of kin of each of those who died in the tragedy and 700 US dollars for those taken ill. In the nearby area died nine people.

In December 2011, hooch tragedy killed 172 people in West Bengal.

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