Methanol-laced alcohol kills 34, dozens hospitalized

KALLAKURICHI, INDIAN STATE – At least 34 individuals died, and dozens were hospitalized following the consumption of illegally brewed alcohol. Reports emerged on Thursday, revealing that the liquor contained methanol, according to M K Stalin, the state’s Chief Minister.

The grisly incident occurred in Kallakurichi, a district within the state. M S Prasanth, the top district official, said that upwards of 100 people are undergoing treatment at various medical facilities. He also noted that the number of critically ill patients changes frequently, indicating a likelihood of a potentially growing death toll.

As part of the response efforts, ambulances, doctors, and specialists have been called in from surrounding areas. According to reports from government officials, a police investigation was launched after individuals experiencing severe vomiting and stomach discomfort were admitted to hospitals on Wednesday.

In a social media post that same day, Chief Minister Stalin announced the arrest of the culprits involved in the crime. He also stated that officials who failed to prevent the incident are facing punitive measures. Stalin emphasized the government’s strong stance against such societal crimes.

India frequently records death cases tied to the consumption of illegally produced alcohol. Generally, the country’s impoverished population cannot afford licensed brands from government-regulated shops. As a result, illicit alcohol, often treated with harmful chemicals to enhance its potency, has turned into a profitable untaxed trade, with enormous quantities sold cheaply to these economically disadvantaged individuals.

Earlier in 2022, over 30 people died in the eastern state of Bihar after allegedly drinking unauthorized tainted liquor. In the same year, Gujarat state reported the death of at least 28 individuals due to consumption of adulterated alcohol. Furthermore, India’s northern Punjab state witnessed a death toll of over 120 people in 2020 following the consumption of foul liquor.