Beer Containing Crocodile Bile Kills at Least 56 People at Funeral in Mozambique

A traditional Mozambique beer is thought to have been poisoned during a funeral, killing many of the mourners

Health officials in the Tete region of Mozambique admitted that they do not have the resources to provide comprehensive treatment. (Photo Modified: Flickr/Bas Leenders/CC 4.0)

At least 56 people attending a funeral in Tete, Mozambique have died after drinking poisoned beer, thought to have been contaminated with crocodile bile during the funeral, reports The Associated Press.

Additionally, at least 195 people have been admitted to hospitals in the region, a district health official told Radio Mozambique.

The beer, a traditional Mozambican beverage known as Pombe that is brewed from millet or corn flour, was produced locally and consumed by mourners during a funeral on Saturday, January 10. The contamination is thought to have occurred later in the day, as funeral-goers who drank the beer in the morning have not fallen ill, while those who drank the beer in the afternoon are among the dead or hospitalized.

Blood and beer samples have been sent to Mozambique’s capital of Maputo as Tete officials say they lack the capacity to test the samples properly. In the meantime, provincial health director Carle Mosse told Radio Mozambique that the situation is expected to get worse, as the Tete province does not have the medical resources to handle the situation.

A police investigation for the source of the poison, which also killed the woman who brewed the beer, is currently underway. 

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