Nearly 100 People Die From Tainted Booze in India

By May Wilkerson 06/24/15

People fell ill after drinking a batch of homemade moonshine.

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Nearly 100 people have reportedly died in India after drinking a batch of tainted moonshine that may have contained methanol. This is the latest in a series of deaths related to bootleg alcohol, or “hooch,” which is brewed illegally and often sold in poor communities at a very low cost.

On Wednesday, dozens of people reportedly fell ill from the batch of moonshine, most of them residents of a Mumbai slum called Malvani. By Monday, 98 people had died, according to police.

So far, seven people have been reportedly arrested for distributing and selling the liquor and eight police officers suspended for “connivance and negligence” for allowing it to be sold, according to the Associated Press. Authorities are currently investigating whether the toxic batch contained methanol, a dangerous anti-freeze that is commonly added to bootleg liquor since it’s both cheap and highly potent.

More than 1,300 people died from methanol poisoning in India between 2001 and 2012, according to the World Health Organization. In 2012, 24 people died after drinking toxic liquor made from cough syrup. This latest incident was Mumbai’s worst since 2004, when 104 people died after drinking tainted liquor in the suburb of Vikrohli.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.