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At least 33 dead after drinking toxic alcohol in India

No fewer than 33 persons have been confirmed dead after drinking toxic alcohol in Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state.

According to local reports, 109 persons were hospitalised from the incident, while more than 60 people are still receiving treatment for vomiting, stomach ache and diarrhoea.

Officials say the death toll could rise further.

The incident took place in Kallakuruchi district where several residents fell ill after consuming the liquor on Tuesday night.

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Authorities have suspended a senior police official and ten members of the state’s prohibition enforcement wing for negligence. The agency oversees the smuggling of illicit alcohol.

The district police arrested one person identified as Kannukutty, 49, on Wednesday for allegedly peddling the liquor.

The police also seized 200 litres of liquor from him.

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According to the police, Kannukutty had mixed methanol in the alcohol and sold it in packets.

Methanol, a potent toxicant in humans, occurs naturally at a low level in most alcoholic beverages without causing harm.

However, illicit drinks made from “industrial methylated spirits” can cause severe and even fatal illness.

MK Stalin, Tamil Nadu chief minister, announced a compensation of 1m rupees on Thursday to families of the deceased and 50,000 rupees each for the hospitalised.

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“High quality treatment is being provided to those undergoing treatment in the hospital,” Stalin assured.

The minister said the “avoidable incident” caused him so much pain and that he is monitoring steps being taken to address the issue.

 

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