As the Inquisitr recently reported, a batch of poisoned alcohol has been responsible for a spate of deaths in Malad, a section of the northern part of Mumbai. Originally, the death toll was counted at 41, but now that number has risen dramatically as more people succumb to the poisoned alcohol.
According to Reuters India, at least 94 people have died in Mumbai as a direct result of the poisoned alcohol. The homemade liquor is likely to claim even more lives, as many are still in the hospital as a result of the tainted alcohol. Homemade alcohol is prevalent in India, as it is much cheaper than its store-bought alternative. However, as a result of no regulations and standards in the homemade variety, there is an increased likelihood of poisoned alcohol occurring thanks to ingredients such as industrial methanol — which increases the potency of the alcohol but can be fatal if ingested — being added.
The poisoned alcohol seems to be central to a slum in a western neighborhood of Mumbai on the west coast of India, and has been causing fatalities since Wednesday. Five people have since been arrested in relation to the transportation and sale of the poisoned alcohol to poor workers. Eight police officials have also been suspended for suspected negligence. According to Dhananjay Kulkarni, Mumbai’s deputy police commissioner, “More than 150 have consumed this alcohol. The death toll may rise.”
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The top elected official of Maharashtra state (of which Mumbai is the capital), Devendra Fadnavis, has called for an inquest into this latest poisoned alcohol incident. As a result, police have taken samples of the alcohol for analysis.
While deaths from the poisoned alcohol rise, Tayra Khan, wife of one of the victims, brings home the human cost of this tragedy. Her husband was admitted to hospital early on Thursday after “he complained of vomiting and pain in the stomach.” She then went on to explain, “He died three hours later, leaving me and my three little children alone.” Khan is now the sole provider for her family, and in a country where there is already so much poverty, this death is devastating in so many ways to this family.
Unfortunately, poisoned alcohol is becoming an increasing issue in India. In 2011, nearly 170 West Bengal residents died from tainted alcohol. In 2014, in Mumbai’s Vikhroli area, 104 people also died from alcohol poisoning. Many other smaller instances of death caused by poisoned alcohol have also occurred. The most recent cluster of deaths related to tainted alcohol occurred in January of this year when 29 people succumbed.
[Image credit: Getty Images / Bethany Clarke / Stringer]