WB hooch tragedy kills 148, 10 arrested

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the government was contemplating demolition of illegal liquor dens.

Canning/Kolkata: Grief overtook West
Bengal`s Sangrampur and neighbouring villages as the toll in
the state`s worst-ever illicit liquor tragedy leapfrogged to
148 amid fears of further rise in casualties with over 100
victims including labourers, rickshaw-pullers and hawkers
still battling for life in three hospitals.

The victims fell ill after consuming spurious liquor from
several illegal joints on Tuesday night. Preliminary
investigations suggest that the deaths occurred due to methyl
alcohol toxicity which led to respiratory and cardiac failure.

Officials said that 119 deaths were reported alone in
Diamond Harbour sub-divisional hospital, followed by M R
Bangur (23) rpt (23) and National Medical College and

Condition of about 50 victims was critical in the three
hospitals, doctors said adding the toll is likely to go up.

"Many are still battling for life in the three
hospitals after consuming spurious liquor and we have made all
arrangements for treatment of the victims," the Chief Medical
Officer Health (CMOH) Shikha Adhikary said.

The issue figured in the state Assembly with Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee announcing a CID inquiry into the
tragedy which took place less than a week after the major fire
in AMRI which left 93 dead.

Police said that 10 arrests were made in connection
with the worst-ever hooch tragedy in the state.

The chief minister said the owner of the liquor den
Badshah Khokon, named in the FIR, was absconding.

She said that something toxic was mixed in the liquor,
while police said that pesticide was mixed with methyl alcohol
which proved fatal.


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