Lifestyle & Belief

Toxic alcohol kills more than 100 people in India


Patients at a hospital in Diamond Harbor receive medical treatment after drinking toxic bootlegged alcohol. So far, more than 100 people in India's West Bengal have died from the incident.


Dibyangshu Sarkar

More than 100 people in India's West Bengal have died after drinking toxic bootlegged alcohol.

According to Al Jazeera, the homemade brew was laced with methanol, which is oftentimes added to make alcohol stronger.

Methanol is also used in "fuel, solvent, and anti-freeze."

So far, 131 have died and another 100 are being treated in hospitals. 

The medical facilities in West Bengal are too small to handle the large number of people coming in from the poisoning.

Some patients are being treated on the floors of the hospitals.

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"Most of the dead are poor manual laborers, rickshaw pullers and hawkers who drank the 'country liquor' at a series of makeshift bars all supplied by the same illicit distillery in the town of Diamond Harbor," reported The Guardian.

Due to the incident, four people have been arrested and 10 shops that illegally sold alcohol have been torn down in Diamond Harbor.

Poisoning from bootlegged liquor is not unusual in India. 

According to BBC News, at least 10 people died in Tamil Nadu in February 2010. In September 2009, at least 30 people died in Uttar Pradesh. And in Gujarat, 107 people died in July 2009.

Aside from bars, the alcohol is also sold door-to-door by salesman on bikes, according to The Guardian.

The liquor, or "desi daroo" as it is known, costs about 10 rupees, or 20 US cents.

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