The death toll from taking toxic alcohol in a Mumbai slum climbed to 90 in the worst incident of its kind in more than a decade, police said.
Residents of a slum in the Malad area reportedly fell ill after using illicit alcohol on Wednesday morning. More than 40 other people are being treated in hospitals, and the death toll could rise further. In the latest case of illicit alcohol deaths, eight police officers have been suspended on accusations of negligence following the incident, local media reported.
Deputy police commissioner in Mumbai, Dhananjay Kulkarni, said it was possible that the number of dead from consuming the illicit moonshine could continue to increase, as more than 40 people are currently hospitalised for ill effects after using illicit alcohol.
“Ninety people have now died,” he said.
“More than 40 are being treated in hospital and the death toll may reach 100,” the commissioner added.
Kulkarni said the police have arrested five people who transported and sold the toxic alcohol to poor workers.
Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India. Illicit alcohol is often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase its potency.
At least 29 people were killed after consuming illicit alcohol in Uttar Pradesh state in January 2015. In 2011 in the state of West Bengal, nearly 170 people passed away after having used illicit alcohol. In 2009 more than 130 people died from illicit alcohol in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
For further reading: BBC