Hooch claims nine lives in Kerala

Last Updated: Monday, September 6, 2010 - 19:03

Malappuram: Tragedy struck the sleeply
town of Kuttippuram in Malappuram distrtict, as the death toll
in the suspected hooch tragedy in Kerala, has risen to nine,
after reportedly consuming illicit liquor from a toddy shop at
Kuttippuram today.

Out of the nine who had died, five people are hailing from
Kerala and while the rest are workers from Tamil Nadu, whose
are yet to be identified, police said.

The death toll was likely to go up as it was very
difficult to calculate how many had consumed the illicit brew,
they said.

Five others who complained of exhaustion and nausea were
undergoing treatment at the hospital, police said adding five
of the deceased, belonging to Kerala, had been identified.

The bodies of two persons were recovered from Kuttippuram
Railway station premises, in the morning while the others died
at a hospital, they said.

One person said to be the manager of the toddy shop had
been arrested, police said.

The preliminary investigation conducted in the samples
taken from the shops where the killer brew was sold showed the
presence of `methanol` alcohol, Forensic Science officials had
said, police said.

Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who had rushed
to the site in the morning, told mediapersons that
murder charges would be framed against the culprits if
investigations proved the deaths were caused by illicit brew.

"The investigation is on. If it is proved that the deaths
were due to consumption of illicit liquor, stringent action,
including slapping murder charges, would be taken against
those behind the sale of the toddy," Balakrishnan said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, September 6, 2010 - 19:03

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