Jakarta, April 10 (IANS) At least 68 people in Indonesia have died during April after drinking bootleg alcohol, alarming the authorities in the country with the worlds largest Muslim population.
Most fatalities were registered in West Java province, with a total of 37 victims aged between 20 and 51 years old, according to officials. Other affected areas were Greater Jakarta and Papua, the Jakarta Post reported on Tuesday.
Another 55 people aged between 14 and 51 years old were admitted to the Cicalengka Hospital in the same province suffering from poisoning while three others were discharged.
The General Director of Cicalengka hospital, Yani Sumpena, said in a televised statement that the laboratory was analyzing the composition of the suspected home-made alcohol. He said the cause of victims’ deaths was intoxication leading to internal organ failure.
Patients arrived at the medical centre feeling dizzy and vomiting and many of them were unconscious, Sumpena said.
According to witnesses cited by the daily, the victims bought a yellow-coloured drink sold in used mineral bottles. The drink contained alcohol, cough medicine and mosquito repellent.
Jakarta Police chief Inspector General Idham Azis said he would form a special team to investigate the circulation of bootleg liquor in the city.
The high number of people affected by adulterated alcohol poisoning has prompted the authorities to launch a series of raids on illicit liquor factories and confiscate their substandard products.