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  1. mrsolearyscow
    An illegal batch of alcohol that had been laced with toxic methanol has killed at least 102 people in the east Indian state of West Bengal - but the number of dead is expected to rise.

    More than 100 people are being treated in hospital for cardiac and respiratory problems and some will not survive.

    The men had all visited illegal drinking houses in villages about 30km south of the city of Kolkata.

    Anwar Hassan Mullah, who took six people to hospital, told the NDTV News Channel: "It is a very sad thing that has happened. Why have the police not stopped this? I cannot understand? What connection do they have?"

    Villagers have alleged the drinking dens were run by the police. The authorities have launched an investigation.

    West Bengal's chief minister Mamata Banerjee said: "I want to take strong action against those manufacturing and selling illegal liquor... but this is a social problem also, and this has to be dealt with socially."

    Four people were arrested and a number of drinking dens have been destroyed.

    The dead are all from the poorest section of society and are mainly labourers, hawkers or rickshaw pullers.

    Legal alcohol in India is extremely expensive for men who earn little more than £1 a day.

    Bootleg alcohol is relatively cheap, costing about 20p a litre. It is estimated two thirds of all alcohol drunk in India is bootleg.

    But it is not a safe habit. It kills hundreds of people every year.

    The batch involved in this latest tragedy contained a large percentage of toxic methanol, which is can be used in anti-freeze or as a fuel.

    In 2009, 150 people were killed in the state of Gujarat in one incident.

    Alcohol abuse is rising amongst Indians generally. According to the Lancet, 5% of India's population - or 60 million people - are alcoholics.

    Source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/bootleg-booze-kills-102-eastern-india-091416959.html

Comments

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Tainted alcohol kills scores in India

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    Tainted alcohol kills scores in India
    Toxic bootleg brew thought to have been spiked with methanol kills more than 100 people in West Bengal.

    More than a hundred people have died after drinking toxic alcohol in India's West Bengal state, police say.

    Day labourers and other poor workers in the village of Sangrampur, about 30km south of Kolkata, began falling ill late on Tuesday after drinking the bootleg brew, according to district magistrate Narayan Swarup Nigam.

    According to local officials, the current death toll is at 143 and some 100 others were being treated in hospital, with fears the death toll could rise.

    Police have arrested seven people in connection with making and distributing the methanol-spiked liquid, which is also used as a fuel, solvent and anti-freeze.

    Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri reporting from New Delhi said: "Most of the people can't afford good quality alcohol so they buy cheap version, which are often laced with methanol to make them potent. Bootleg alcohol is very common, thousands die of alcohol poisoning across India every year."

    "This particular case actually happened in rural India in West Bengal state and most of the medical facilities there aren't really capable of handling or coping with such large numbers of people falling ill. So we have seen a large number of people being treated on the floors, and for many of them it was too late by the time they reached other larger hospitals," our correspondent said.

    Toxic alcohol deaths are a regular occurrence in India. In 2009 a similar incident in the state of Gujarat killed 112 people. And in 1992 more than 200 people died in Orissa from drinking tainted alcohol.

    Strict laws

    Last week, Gujarat brought in a new law making the illegal manufacture and sale of toxic alcohol there, punishable by death.

    Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of the state of West Bengal, has promised a crackdown on toxic alcohol.

    "I want to take strong action against those manufacturing and selling illegal liquor," he said.

    Our correspondent said: "Although India does have strict laws banning the sale of illegal alcohol, on the ground it is very difficult to monitor and implement.

    "This locally brewed alcohol known by various local names is a popular poor man's drink. It is manufactured and produced in people's homes, also in large industrial units. So monitoring and supervising the safety standards in these units is quite difficult.

    "There is also the other issue of corruption in India. In most of the cases we have seen that local officials, including the police, are also involved in protecting these suppliers or bootleggers who have been selling to local residents," she added.

    Furious villagers ransacked the illegal alcohol shops and breweries on Thursday, local police told the AFP news agency.

    Commonly called cholai or country-made alcohol in India, the drink costs as little as 10 rupees (20 US cents) and is often spiked with methyl alcohol and industrial spirits.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2011/12/201112156332918171.html

    To check it out, rate it or add comments, visit Tainted alcohol kills scores in India
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  2. enquirewithin
    India doctors fight to save West Bengal alcohol victims

    [imgl=red]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=23605&d=1324025692[/imgl]Doctors in India's West Bengal state are battling to save the remaining victims of toxic alcohol poisoning that has now killed 160 people. A total of 204 people are still being treated in hospital, most of them critically ill.

    Residents of 12 villages in the South 24 Parganas district fell ill after drinking the alcohol on Tuesday night. Ten people have been arrested. Officials said the fuel methanol had been found in at least 20 victims. The BBC's Amitabha Bhattasali in Calcutta says there is a shortage of medicine in hospitals and many patients have complained that they are being asked to buy their medicine from outside.

    Most victims are poor villagers who are unable to afford it. Local hospitals have been overwhelmed by victims arriving either unconscious or complaining of abdominal pains and burning in their chests. Chief medical officer of South 24 Parganas district, Shikha Adhikari, told the BBC that 364 people had been admitted to hospitals since the outbreak, of whom 160 had died.

    Shyamapada Basak, health services director of West Bengal, told Agence France-Presse that 160 of those being treated were critically ill. Health department officials said doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff had had leave cancelled and were working overtime to attend to the victims. The affected villages are in the Sangrampur, Magrahat, Usthi and Mandirbazar areas of South 24 Parganas district. Many of the victims had stayed at home fearing police harassment if they went to hospital, so the exact number of people affected has still to be determined.

    The West Bengal state government has ordered a criminal investigation into the deaths. Police are gathering toxic alcohol samples. District magistrate Narayan Swarup Nigam told AFP that methanol, sometimes used as a fuel, had been found in at least 20 victims. West Bengal police additional director general, Surojit Kar Purokayastha, said: "We are now looking for the kingpin of the racket."

    Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced compensation for the families of the victims. She said "strong action will be taken against those manufacturing and selling illegal liquor". Our correspondent says the illegal breweries are in the Gocharan area and local residents say they operate with impunity, as local authorities do not interfere. One man in the illegal liquor business who operates in Gocharan said this batch came from a man who was "extremely greedy" and who watered down the liquor then mixed in pesticide to give it "flavour".

    The liquor is packed in cans and delivered all over the district and other parts of the state in buses and on trains. Retailers sell sachets after filling them up with the liquor. The illegal alcohol - commonly called desi daroo or country-made liquor in India - is called cholai in West Bengal and it usually costs as little as 10 rupees (20 US cents) and the majority of the consumers are poor, daily-wage workers.

    The tainted liquor can lead to fits, vomiting and death, an all-too regular occurrence in India. Last week, the state of Gujarat brought in a new law making the illegal manufacture and sale of toxic alcohol there punishable by death.
  3. enquirewithin
    How people could do this this for a what must be quite minimal profit defies the imagination-- some people are sociopaths. Depsite the India's apparent rise as an economic power, all the wealth is concentrated in the hands a of a few. This is one of many similar cases.

    The hippies went to Indian search of truth but in fact Hinduism is a highly conservative religion with a rigid cast system which is far from being enlightened.
  4. Pain Hurts
    I personally awoke semi blind after drinking 26 oz of Cuban rum in the late 90's.

    this stuff was bought in store, a popular brand name & upon more research found out that there WAS an investigation that was covered up quick fast ina hurry and a cuban person also verified it always happens and there are batches of the good stuff that can cause blindness ...

    Moderation is key here and it is stupid to consume 26 oz of any hard liquor or even pop or fruit juice in a day !!

    ... I could only see white and tunnel vision for 3min upon awaking and then it came back.

  5. mistman
    This kind of thing used to happen during Prohibition in the United States all the time. Perhaps not that many at once though.
  6. kailey_elise
    I thought methanol is produced just by distilling the alcohol? That's why you're not supposed to take the first bits that come out of the condenser, nor the last bits.

    Could this be actual methanol being added to the liquor, or do you think it's more likely that someone just took everything that came out of the condenser, impurities & all, in order to not 'waste' any/maximize their profits?

    Um, you're gonna make a whole lot less money overall if all your customers are fucking DEAD because you poisoned them!

    ~Kailey
  7. mistman
    I think your right, it's methanol added. I think they meant to put the it in there. I don 't they meant to kill anybody. I think they just put in more methanol than they can get safely away with. Who knows? A liittle methanol my make it a better buzz. Even too much ethanol can kill. Sad. I hope this comes at a warning to everyone buying research chemicals.
  8. m000nman
    alright so one autority (the police) may be running the drinking dens, why should the authorities conducting the investigation be trusted? the corruption of mankind is just ridiculous and frustrating...
  9. Pain Hurts
    Um, you're gonna make a whole lot less money overall if all your customers are fucking DEAD because you poisoned them!

    Read more: http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1063705#post1063705#ixzz1gpUoDiRx

    ... ya, as I said Kailey, and hello again!! Wishing you happy new year and to all forum members!!

    ... there has been many many people who HAVE passed on from cheap booze both in Cuba and other places and trust me these companies made it well worth your while not to report it.



  10. Insomniacsdream
    To shead a bit of light on this subject. When making moonshine you want to evaporate the methanol off first which can be done at a lower temperature then when you have all the methanol you throw it away turn the heat up ten degrees and condense the ethanol leaving you with clean moonshine. This really is pretty basic and its shocking that so many people can be killed by a group who really don't know what their doing at all. I doubt it was deliberate.
  11. enquirewithin
    I would like to think it is not deliberate and it has been pointed out that dead customers never come back for repeat business. The sellers still killed by negligence and greed.
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