Toxic liquor kills 40 in India
At least 40 people died and dozens fell ill after consuming toxic home-made liquor in 24 Parganas district of India's Paschimbanga state, officials said yesterday.
The victims drank adulterated liquor late Tuesday night from local liquor joints.
Ten people died at the spot in the early hours of yesterday while thirty others died in two hospitals where they were admitted, official sources in Kolkata said.
Local residents ransacked four breweries earlier yesterday after some of the deaths were reported in Sangrampur, some 30 kilometres from Kolkata, the officials said.
Labourers, rickshaw-pullers and hawkers were among the dead.
The condition of over 100 people, admitted to hospitals with severe stomach ache, vomiting and loose motion, was serious, the sources added.
The state administration was rushing medicines and doctors to the government-run Diamond Harbour hospital, located near the village, other officials said.
Police said they have arrested four alleged bootleggers so far.
The moonshine deaths were the highest since July 2009, when 122 people were killed in western Gujarat state after consuming toxic alcohol.
Deaths from cheap alcohol are common in India, where nearly 170 people were killed in 2008 in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu after drinking the same batch of adulterated alcohol.