At least 150 people have died, and over 170 more have been hospitalized for severe alcohol poisoning, after consuming a toxic batch of illegal alcohol in India’s Assam state.
Ten people have been arrested and several others are still being questioned over their alleged involvement with the unregulated alcohol which is known locally as “hooch” or “country-made liquor.”
Most of the victims were tea garden workers in the Golaghat district of the northeastern state, according to officials who are still working to pinpoint the source of the fatal bootleg booze.
“We have still more than 170 people admitted in hospitals with new patients being brought in from nearby areas. Some developed complications two days after consuming the liquor,” Assam’s health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, said to Reuters.
The official added that samples of spurious liquor have been sent for forensic testing.
The crisis is just the latest in India’s long battle with dangerous illegal alcohol that is often consumed in states where drinking is outlawed or by poverty-stricken people as a more affordable alternative to legitimate booze.
Just two weeks ago more than 100 people died in two northern Indian states from drinking toxic moonshine. In 2015 more than 100 people were wiped out in a Mumbai slum from consuming a deadly batch. The country’s worst incident occured in 2011 when at least 168 people died in the state of West Bengal.
Source: RT Online