At least 31 die in India’s Tamil Nadu state after consuming tainted liquor

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At least 31 people died and over 60 were still being treated in hospitals after consuming tainted liquor in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a government spokesperson said on Thursday.

Since Wednesday more than 100 people, suffering from vomiting, stomach ache and diarrhea, have been admitted to hospitals in the Kallakurichi district, 250 km (150 miles) by road from the state capital Chennai, the spokesperson said.

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The state government suspended at least 10 officials, including the district’s collector and police chief, over the illicit liquor incident, according to a statement.

“I was shocked and saddened to hear the news... Action has also been taken against the officials who failed to prevent it,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said in a post on X.

Police arrested Govindaraj, 49, who goes by his first name, for selling illicit liquor and also seized 200 liters of the methanol-mixed alcoholic drink, the government said.

A video from ANI, in which Reuters has a minority stake, showed healthcare officials carrying patients in ambulances at a hospital while another shot showed several people standing outside a mortuary in Kallakurichi.

More than a dozen people died last year in a similar incident in a nearby district in Tamil Nadu.

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