Bad booze kills 29, 100 hospitalised in Uttar Pradesh

Some 29 people have died and over 100 have been hospitalised after drinking toxic alcohol in villages in Lucknow and Unnao districts, with fears the death toll could rise. Many of the victims were among over 200 people who gathered to watch a cricket match in a village near Lucknow. Doctors said the condition of some of those being treated is serious. A number were put on ventilators and some others have lost their eyesight. The symptoms clearly indicated that the patients were served methyl alcohol, which despite being toxic is sometimes mixed with ethyl alcohol because it is cheaper. A government spokesman said a dozen officials have been suspended from various local departments for negligence, and the guilty will not be spared. Toxic alcohol deaths are a regular occurrence in India, where people often drink cheap tainted country liquor.