India’s Methanol-Laced Liquor Deaths Reach 47

June 22, 2024 by No Comments

The number of deaths resulting from contaminated liquor in the state of Tamil Nadu has risen to 47, with over 100 people still hospitalized, a government official reported on Friday.

Since Wednesday, more than 150 people, exhibiting symptoms such as vomiting, stomach aches, and diarrhea, have sought medical attention after consuming methanol-laced liquor produced in the Kallakurichi district, approximately 150 miles from the state capital Chennai.

As of Friday morning, 118 individuals were still undergoing treatment in the district and surrounding areas, the government official stated.

On Thursday, a government spokesperson confirmed that at least 36 people had succumbed to the poisoning.

Police apprehended four individuals in connection with the illicit liquor sales and confiscated 200 liters of the alcoholic beverage, the state government announced on Thursday. The government also disclosed that it had taken disciplinary action against 10 officials for failing to prevent the incident.

Deaths caused by illegally manufactured alcohol, locally known as “hooch” or “country liquor,” are a recurring phenomenon in India, where many individuals cannot afford branded spirits. Despite calls from the public and activists for stricter action against sellers, these incidents persist.

said it is taking measures to identify those involved in the production of methanol, a hazardous chemical typically used for industrial purposes.

Videos from ANI, in which Reuters holds a minority stake, and local media outlets captured state ministers and opposition leaders visiting the district to offer condolences to the victims.

Videos showcased mass cremations of the deceased, with families performing last rites only a few yards apart, reminiscent of scenes witnessed in India during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over a dozen individuals perished in a similar incident that occurred last year in a neighboring district of Tamil Nadu.