Three persons, including one woman, died after they consumed a toxic liquid which they mistook to be liquor in Gajuwaka, Andhra Pradesh. Eight others are receiving treatment.
According to the police, the victims were ragpickers, and they found a black plastic can containing the liquid while clearing a dumpyard in Gajuwaka. The police suspect that it could have been industrial spirit. â€śMistaking it to be liquor, they consumed it. Eight others are availing treatment at King George hospital in Visakhapatnam," said Gajuwaka Inspector Rama Rao said. He said that the victims were all aged 60 and above. The group was shifted to the hospital with the help of locals in the area.
The police have registered a case under CrPC Section 174 (investigation over natural death).
A team of officials led by District Collector K Bhaskar also visited the hospital and checked on the victims and assured them of help from the state governmentâ€™s side. He also promised that the state would bear the medical expenses of the patients.
Meanwhile, the Prohibition and Excise department collected samples of the liquid and sent it to a lab for further testing, to ascertain what it was. The police also said that the bodies of the deceased was sent for a post-mortem and the result of the autopsy would also provide further clarity on what the group had consumed.
The police are also trying to ascertain the source of the black plastic can in which the liquid was found.
This incident took place close on the heels of a tragedy in Assam where over 140 people died after consuming spurious liquor. The tragedy struck the tea gardens of Golaghat and Jorhat after a large number of people consumed spurious liquor on Thursday night at the Salmora tea estate in Golaghat, 300 km from Guwahati, and in two villages in Jorhat district.
Many country liquors shops have been destroyed by the people, particularly women, following the tragedy.