Published: 19:45, June 24, 2024
Death toll rises to 58 in India's tainted liquor tragedy
By Xinhua
A boy with his head shaved prays before lighting the funeral pyre of his father, who died after drinking illegally brewed liquor, in Kallakurichi district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, India, June 20, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

NEW DELHI - The death toll in the consumption of tainted bootleg liquor in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has risen to 58, officials said Monday.

Over 150 people are still undergoing treatment at different hospitals.

According to officials, bootleg liquor spiked with methanol consumed by the residents last week resulted in their deaths and hospitalization in Kallakurichi town, about 244 km southwest of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has directed police to probe the source of methanol, a toxic chemical normally used for industrial purposes

"The death toll in the hooch tragedy in the Kallakurichi has reached 58, with two more people succumbing on Sunday night," a district administration official said.

ALSO READ: 37 killed, 100 hospitalised in India after consuming tainted bootleg liquor

"So far, 32 people have died at the Government Kallakurichi Medical College and Hospital, 19 at the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital in Salem, four at the Government Villupuram Medical College and Hospital and three at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer) in Puducherry."

The victims following the consumption of liquor had complained of blurred vision, intense abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

A total of 155 people, including five women, are undergoing treatment in different hospitals. Over 100 of these patients are undergoing treatment at the Kallakurichi Government Medical College and Hospital.

"Seven people, including two women, have been discharged so far," the official said.

ALSO READ: Toll rises to 38 in Indian spurious liquor incident

A probe into the matter is underway and police so far have arrested seven people in connection with the incident.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has directed police to probe the source of methanol, a toxic chemical normally used for industrial purposes.

Local government has already constituted a one-man commission headed by a former high court judge to conduct a thorough inquiry into the tragedy.

The opposition parties in the state have intensified their protests against the government over the deaths and demanded a probe by India's Central Bureau of Investigation into the hooch tragedy.

READ MORE: India: Spurious liquor kills at least 17, over 40 hospitalized

Spurious alcohol deaths are often reported in India, where people often drink cheap country-made bootleg liquor.