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17 tea garden workers dead after drinking toxic liquor in India

No fewer than 17 tea plantation workers have reportedly died after drinking contaminated moonshine in India’s North-eastern State of Assam, officials said on Friday.

The victims had consumed the liquor at the plantation in the state’s Golaghat district, Regional Police Chief, Pushpraj Singh, said.

“The victims comprised 12 women and five men. The toxic alcohol appears to contain methanol, which is fatal when consumed in large amounts,’’ Senior District official, Dhiren Hazarka, said.

Police said that four among 18 others taken to hospital were in a “serious condition’’ and that the death toll could rise.

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The illegal liquor trade thrives in India because it is much cheaper than commercially-produced alcohol.

Unregulated liquor often contains high levels of methanol, a poisonous chemical used in anti-freeze and wood spirits.

Authorities were carrying out raids at various locations in the area to determine where the tainted liquor was produced and how it was distributed.

Many deaths are reported from the consumption of moonshine in India.

Less than two weeks ago, more than 100 people died in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh after drinking tainted liquor. (NAN)