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Death Toll surpasses 50 in Indian toxic alcohol tragedy

Death Toll surpasses 50 in Indian toxic alcohol tragedy

Death Toll surpasses 50 in Indian toxic alcohol tragedy

Death Toll surpasses 50 in Indian toxic alcohol tragedy

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  • Chief Minister M.K. Stalin stated that the locally brewed arrack drink had been laced with poisonous methanol.
  • Medics rushed over 100 people to the hospital, but some were too ill to be saved.
  • Authorities have arrested seven people in connection with the “spurious liquor tragedy.”
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Media reported on Sunday that the death toll from a batch of toxic illegal alcohol in India has risen to 53, as more victims in hospitals succumbed to the poisonous brew.

Tamil Nadu state Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has stated that the locally brewed arrack drink, laced with poisonous methanol, resulted in the deaths of 37 individuals within hours after they consumed the illegal alcohol on Tuesday. Medics were unable to save some of the more than 100 people rushed to the hospital.

Every year in India, hundreds of people die from cheap alcohol produced in backstreet distilleries, but this poisoning represents one of the worst incidents in recent years. To increase its potency, people frequently spike the liquor with methanol, which can cause blindness, liver damage, and death.

The Indian Express newspaper quoted a local councilor, Palraj, on Sunday describing how poor laborers in Kallakurichi district regularly purchased liquor in plastic bags costing 60 rupees ($0.70), which they would consume before work. Some were rushed to the hospital after becoming blind, while others collapsed in the street and died rapidly.

“The men work just to drink, and the women run the family,” motorized rickshaw driver Shankar, who lives on a street where 23 people died, told the Indian Express.

According to the Press Trust of India news agency, M.S. Prasanth, the top government official in the Kallakurichi district of the state, reported on Saturday that “53 people have passed away,” according to the latest figures. Other Indian media on Sunday indicated the toll could be as high as 55, but there was no immediate official confirmation.

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PTI added that Prasanth announced the arrest of seven people in connection with the “spurious liquor tragedy.” Although Tamil Nadu is not a dry state, illegally traded liquor often comes at a lower price than legally sold alcohol.

The Indian Express also interviewed Kolanji, a domestic helper whose husband died on Thursday after consuming a packet of the tainted brew. She explained that people drank the moonshine “because they cannot afford” alcohol from the government-run shops.

“They start buying packets early in the morning,” she said.

Several other parts of India prohibit the sale and consumption of liquor, which further fuels the thriving black market for potent and sometimes lethal backstreet moonshine. Last year, poisonous alcohol claimed the lives of at least 27 people in one incident in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, while in 2022, at least 42 people died in Gujarat.

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