Toxic liquor consumers’ death toll rises to 27

KARACHI: Four more persons, who had consumed toxic liquor on Eid day, died Thursday raising the death toll to 27 while more than 15 were still under treatment here at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

Three deaths were reported on Tuesday and 20 on Wednesday night.

Dr Seemien Jamali, head of JPMC’s Emergency Department, said all the victims were aged between 17 and 30 years, who lost their lives because of methanol, a poisonous liquid used in making wine which is extremely dangerous for essential body organs.

She feared that kidneys and eyesight of the suvivors could be damaged.

The home-brewed liquor that usually contains methanol, commonly used in anti-freeze and fuel, could lead to blindness, liver damage and death,said Dr Jamali.

According to initial findings, the manufacturer and distributor of the home-made liquor was the same person running his liquor shop in Sharafi Goth having permit of the excise department, police officials told APP.

“The liquor’s samples have been collected to ascertain whether it contains methanol,” they said in reply to a question.

The unfortunate consumers, who have either passed away or are struggling for their lives, belonged to Quaidabad and Ibrahim Hydery in Malir district; Korangi, Landhi, Korangi Industrial Area, Awami Colony and Sharafi Goth of Korangi district; and Mehmoodabad, Baloch Colony, Frere and Preedy of South district.

Additional Inspector General of Police, Karachi, Ghulam Qadir Thebo acknowledged that such unfortunate incidents had been reported on many occasions in past in the metropolis. It is not easy to detect manufacturing units of the hazardous liquor set up in homes, he said.

To a question, the AIG said issuance of a licence for opening liquor shops and regulating the business was the sole responsibility of the excise department, which generates revenue by levying taxes and had a separate force to deal with it.

Thebo said such deaths had also been reported in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas, which might be attributed to the unavailability of liquor, especially during holidays.

Source: APP