More than 30 people have now died in the Indian region of Orissa after consuming illegal highly-poisonous alcohol.
There are also great fears that this death toll could rise as there are still 70 people critically in in hospital. The deaths have arised after locals drunk counterfeit booze contaminated with high levels of chemicals that are normally used in very small quantities in the making of some pharmaceuticals.
It is not the first incident of this type in the region and across wider India, and, sadly it probably won’t be the last, as the many of the country’s poorest often see cheap illegal alcohol as a bonus because of their very low income.
Eight people have been arrested in connection with the incident and an official investigation has been launched.
The fact that illegal alcohol production and purveying is punishable by death in the area does not deter criminals. As recently as 2009, 33 people died after ingesting a lethal mixture of illegal methyl and ethyl.
Orissa has witnessed many incidents of toxic alcohol deaths. In 2009, there were 33 deaths after illegal alcohol was bought and sold on the street.