Toxic alcohol claims 54 lives in Tamil Nadu, India

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By Sana Kahn

Mumbai (Pakistan News online) The death toll from consuming toxic alcohol in Tamil Nadu’s southern state of India has reached 54, with more than 100 people still hospitalized.

 According to the news agency Reuters, nearly 200 individuals have been treated since Wednesday for vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea after drinking methanol-laced liquor in Kalakurichi district, approximately 250 kilometers away from the state capital Chennai.

Senior district official M.S. Prasanth disclosed that law enforcement officials investigating the incident have arrested 7 individuals. Meanwhile, actions are underway against alcohol vendors and manufacturers in the district.

Deaths from illicitly brewed alcohol, often referred to as “country liquor,” are a common occurrence in India despite public demands for crackdowns on alcohol vendors. This is exacerbated by the significantly higher cost of branded liquor.

The state government has indicated efforts to identify those involved in methanol production, a toxic chemical typically used for industrial purposes. Videos from Indian news agency ANI and local media show state ministers and opposition leaders visiting the district to meet with victims.

The videos also depict the final rites of those who lost their lives being solemnly performed by their families, maintaining social distance, reminiscent of scenes during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

Last year, a similar incident in a neighboring district of Tamil Nadu resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen people.

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