According to authorities, toxic alcohol has killed at least 37 people in the alcohol-free state of Bihar in eastern India, with unsubstantiated estimates placing the death toll at over 60.
Numerous regions of India forbid the sale and use of alcohol, creating a robust underground market for strong backstreet moonshine that is occasionally spiked with ethanol and responsible for hundreds of annual fatalities.
Families of those killed in the most recent disaster said that on Monday, guests at a wedding and other functions drank “Mahua” or “Desi Daru,” a locally produced alcoholic beverage, from many villages.
Then several began throwing up and complaining of stomach aches. More than 20 individuals had passed away by Thursday, and 12 more were hospitalized on Saturday in severe condition.
In the past 48 hours, “more than two dozen individuals have lost their lives,” a police spokesman told AFP, adding that 37 people had already passed away. He was unable to verify allegations in the local media that 62 had passed away.
In the previous three days, police have detained more than 100 persons in connection with the unauthorized production and sale of alcohol, and 600 liters of booze have been seized.
Although local officials have made a big deal about using motorboats, helicopters, and drones to combat the black market, the most recent occurrence is only the most recent in a line of tragic incidents of a similar nature.