At least 93 people have died and about 200 people have been hospitalized after drinking tainted liquor in two separate incidents in India's remote northeast.
They were mostly tea plantation workers in Golaghat and Jorhat districts in Assam state. Several women are among the victims. The workers consumed the tainted liquor laced with methyl alcohol. The illegal alcohol is causing organ failure. "The people came to the hospital with severe vomiting, extreme chest pain and breathlessness," Dr Ratul Bordoloi, joint director of Golaghat's health department declared. The first victims died on Thursday. The death toll could rise, some are in critical condition.
The owner of a local brewing unit and eight others have been arrested, police official Mukesh Agarwal told. Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India. An inquiry has been ordered into the tragedy. Golaghat district Superintendent of Police Pushkar Singh told to media that police had found the home where the toxic liquor was made and had recovered one and a half liters (2.5pts) of it. The illegally produced alcohol is much cheaper than branded spirits. Licensed brands are unaffordable for many of the country's lowest-paid workers.In India's Uttar Pradesh state earlier this month, about 80 people died from tainted bootleg liquor. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, about 1,000 people die in India every year because of these substances.
The death toll rised to at least 150.