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Gujarat hooch toll mounts to 30; Six arrested; Over 50 in hospitals

The network of the spurious liquor supply was quite widespread as 22 of the dead belonged to villages in Botad district while six were from neighbouring Ahmedabad district.

AHMEDABAD, July 26: The death toll in the hooch tragedy in Gujarat has gone up to 30 and dozens of people have been hospitalised. The deaths were caused by the consumption of spurious liquor manufactured from poisonous methyl alcohol.

Fourteen people have been booked by Barwala and Ranpur police stations of Botad district. Six persons have been arrested. The incident took place in Botad district, 130 km from Ahmedabad by road.

The poisoning was detected Monday morning when some people from Rojid and other villages were taken to hospitals in Botad town. Of 30 people died, 22 belonged to villages in Botad district while six were from neighbouring Ahmedabad district. About 50 other people are admitted to hospitals in Bhavnagar, Botad and Ahmedabad.

The victims fell ill allegedly after consuming spurious liquor on Sunday. A forensic analysis at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Gandhinagar has shown that the deceased consumed methyl alcohol.

State Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi has announced a three-member inquiry committee headed by IGP Subhash Trivedi.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is on a visit to Gujarat where the Assembly polls are due later this year, alleged that illegal liquor is available in Gujarat where there is prohibition in force.

What is methyl alcohol

Methanol or methyl alcohol is an industrial chemical, toxic to humans and animals. It is a colourless and flammable liquid with a strong odor. Even consumption of 25 ml can be fatal. Methanol's chemical structure differs from that of ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Ethanol is also colorless and flammable. It is the principal ingredient in alcoholic beverages like beer, wine or brandy. Ethanol is a natural byproduct of plant fermentation. Ethanol is a common ingredient in many cosmetics and some hand sanitizers also.

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