At least 3,000 suspected bootleggers have been arrested after a batch of illegal alcohol killed more than 100 people in India.
According to NDTV, the alcohol was first drunk at a funeral in the city of Haridwar, where 36 people have been confirmed dead and a further 18 remain in hospital.
It is believed the drink had been laced with methanol – a highly toxic substance commonly used as anti-freeze.
A further 69 people are feared to have died after sachets of the alcohol were then taken to the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh.
Many of those killed had complained of stomach pains and respiratory problems.
This is believed to be the deadliest outbreak since 2011, when a batch of bootleg booze killed 172 people in West Bengal.
Deaths from illegally made alcohol – often referred to as “hooch” or “country liquor” – are common in India because licensed brands are often out of the reach of those in poverty.
Bootleg alcohol is cheap and often has chemicals added to increase its strength.
In some states, like Bihar, the sale of alcohol is banned.
(c) Sky News 2019: Tainted alcohol kills more than 100 in India – including 36 at a funeral