At least 13 people died Wednesday, a local official said, after they apparently drank toxic homemade liquor in India’s eastern Bihar.
Illustrative photo of local joint drinkers
Despite a state-wide ban on alcohol, it has been reported after a disclosure by a local official that at least 13 people died on Wednesday while at least 18 people were taken to hospital late on Tuesday after they apparently drank toxic homemade liquor in India’s eastern Bihar.
A magistrate of Gopalganj district, Rahul Kumar told AFP; “Thirteen people have died so far. Two more are critical and the rest have been discharged,” he said, adding that tests were underway to determine the exact cause of death, as they are suspected to have all died after drinking moonshine from illegal bootleggers.
One of India’s poorest states, Bihar announced prohibition in April after chief minister Nitish Kumar promised at elections to crackdown on a widespread problem of alcohol abuse.
According to online reports, hundreds of poor people who cannot afford branded liquor die every year in India from drinking cheap and toxic hooch. Last month, 33 people died in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state after drinking toxic brew.
It was learnt that bootleggers often add methanol — a highly toxic form of alcohol sometimes used as an anti-freeze or fuel — to their home-brew liquor to increase the alcoholic content, and if ingested, it can cause blindness and liver damage and can kill in larger concentrations.
More than 100 people died in Mumbai last year after drinking illegal moonshine in a slum.