Toxic Liquor Kills Dozens in India

Bootleg spirits have killed 42 people so far

At least 42 people in northern India died this weekend after drinking toxic bootleg liquor.

Bootleg spirits sold during a religious festival in India have killed at least 42 people in the past three days, and sickened at least 40 others, authorities say.

According to USA Today, 32 people have been arrested for brewing and selling the toxic alcohol, which was sold to villagers who were celebrating the Hindu festival of Dussehra in Northern India.

According to Al Jazeera, the victims purchased the alcohol in pouches from a shop and started falling ill immediately upon consuming it. The victims were taken to hospitals, but 32 people had died by Friday and another 10 died the next day. 40 other people are being treated after drinking the toxic liquor, and some have gone blind. The shopkeeper who sold the liquor was arrested, though the shopkeeper's son also died from drinking the liquor.

Deaths from drinking bootleg spirits are not uncommon in India, as many poor people there cannot afford legal liquor. The illegal varieties are said to be frequently tainted with potentially toxic chemicals like pesticides to make them more potent.

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