At least 150 die from tainted liquor in India’s northeast

GAUHATI, India (AP) — At least 150 people have died and about 200 people have been hospitalised after drinking tainted liquor in two separate incidents in India’s remote northeast, authorities said yesterday.

The victims of one of the most deadly bootleg liquor-related incidents in India were mostly tea plantation workers in Golaghat and Jorhat districts in Assam state said the state’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma.

Assam is India’s largest tea-producing state, with more than 1,000 plantations producing more than 50 per cent of Indian tea.

The workers consumed the tainted liquor laced with methyl alcohol, a chemical that attacks the central nervous system, last Thursday and started falling unconscious. They were rushed to nearby hospitals and the death toll rose to 150 by early yesterday, police and health officials said.

Sharma, the minister, said about 200 people who fell sick after drinking the toxic liquor are in hospitals, some in critical condition.