The death toll from a mass poisoning related to illegal alcohol in southwestern Russia has risen to 34, and 24 more people are being treated at the hospital.
- Police seized 2,000 bottles of alcohol containing methanol
- So far, 10 people have been arrested
- Of the 24 people being treated at the hospital, seven are in a serious condition
Investigators in the Orenburg region launched a criminal case after people began dying of alcohol poisoning last week.
Police have since detained 10 people in probes in the production and sale of illegal alcohol, the TASS news agency reported.
“There are 67 known victims of surrogate alcohol in the region, 34 of whom have died,” Orenburg’s local government was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency on Sunday (local time).
Seven of the people treated at the hospital were in a serious condition and four were on ventilators, it said.
Police seized 2,000 bottles of alcohol on Saturday, saying they had confirmed the bottles contained methanol, which is toxic.
Mass cases of alcohol poisoning have previously shocked the country.
In 2016, 77 people in Siberia died from drinking bath oil packed with alcohol in the pursuit of alcoholic heights.
The Russians have long had a reputation as some of the world’s heaviest drinkers, but consumption has fallen in recent years and fell 43 percent from 2003 to 2016, according to the World Health Organization in 2019.
This has led to a rapid increase in life expectancy, it added.