Wednesday 14 January 2015

Mass poisonings - Africa and India

Alcohol can kill, especially it it’s laced with crocodile bile, or other lethal additives. In Mozambique, 69 people, including apparently a toddler, have died after drinking home-made beer, ironically, at a funeral.

Health officials believe contamination with crocodile bile made the drink lethal. The woman who brewed it and a number of her relatives are dead, and another 39 people are being treated in hospital.

Meanwhile in India, at least 29 people have died in Uttar Pradesh after drinking toxic liquor at a cricket match, and 100 more are in hospital. Some have lost their sight. Doctors say the drink may have been adulterated with cheap, but dangerous, methyl alcohol. The owner of the shop that sold it has been arrested.

Poisonings of this kind are depressingly common in India. Nearly 170 people died in 2011 in West Bengal, 107 in Gujarat in 2009, and 30 in Uttar Pradesh in the same year.

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