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13 die in spurious liquor tragedy, several hospitalised : TN Minister

13 die in spurious liquor tragedy, several hospitalised : TN Minister

Chennai, June 19 (UNI) At least 13 people died and several others admitted to
various hospitals after they allegedly consumed spurious liquor at Karunapuram
village in Kallakurichi district of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The deceased included at least three women, reports said.
The casualty figures were announced by Tamil Nadu PWD Minister E V Velu, while
talking to reporters tonight after visiting those injured in the hospitals along with
Health Minister Ma.Subramaniam at Kallakurichi.
He said so far 13 people have died and the deaths have caused due to presence
of methanol in the spurious liquor, sold in sachets, consumed by them.
Reports said nearly 30 people were admitted to various hospitals, but media
reports and TV channels say that more than 70 were admitted.
When contacted by UNI at the police headquarters here, the officials said
the reports received from the districts and hospitals are being compiled.
Mr Velu also said that nine people were in critical condition at Kallakurichi
government hospital, while the condition of the rest of those were stable and
they will recover soon.
Stating that the doctors have assured that the nine critical patients will be cured,
he said the state government will never encourage illicit liquor menace and
Chief Minister M.K.Stalin has immediately taken action against those involved
in it.
He also blamed the lethargic attitude of the police officials in dealing with the
issue that led to such incidents and the Chief Minister had immediately swung
into action by taking action against them.
"We are not justifying this incident", Mr Velu said, adding such incidents had been
happening over a period of time and successive governments have been taking
and had taken action regularly.
The ruling DMk will never allow such incidents to recur and all steps will be
taken to prevent it.
He also said the bodies of the victims will be handed over to their families
after autopsy.
Only last year, at least 23 people had died in twin hooch tragedies in nearby
Villupuram and Chengalpattu districts.
According to reports over 66 people are undergoing treatment in hospitals.
Of them, 17 have been referred to Jipmer in Puducherry, eight to Government
Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital in Salem and four to
Villupuram Medical College Hospital.
Preliminary investigations revealed that those admitted were affected due to
methanol poisoning.
The deaths were reported from Karunapuram, within the limits of the Kallakurichi
town police station.
According to sources, the victims, mostly daily wage labourers and load men, had
reportedly purchased the illicit liquor from a vendor in the area, who was arrested
and 200 litres of spurious liquor were seized.
Locals alleged that the sale of spurious liquor has been happening for nearly
3-4 years and no action has been initiated either by the police or the district
administration, despite several complaints.
One of the women, who had lost her breadwinner said, "My family runs with the
money earned by my husband as a load man. Now he has spent that money
in getting this adulterated liquor and died".
"I don't know how to run my family with two children", she said.
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