Spurious liquor kills nine in Assam

April 20th, 2009 - 10:56 am ICT by IANS  

Dibrugarh (Assam), April 20 (IANS) At least nine tea plantation workers were killed and two fell ill after consuming spurious rice beer in Assam, police said Monday.
The incident took place late Sunday near Tingkhong in eastern Assam, about 490 km from the state’s main city of Guwahati.

“A group of about 11 tea garden workers met at the residence of a colleague and had haas-paani (fermented rice beer). Soon after, all of them started vomiting and passed out one after another before anybody could react,” said police spokesperson Kamal Bora.

Two of the tea garden workers were later shifted to hospital and stated to be critical. Among the dead was a woman.

Witnesses said all the victims were from the Lakribam tea estate near Tingkhong.

Authorities have ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.

Earlier this month, 17 people were killed in the eastern Lakhimpur district after drinking spurious rice beer.

There are an estimated one million workers in Assam’s 800-odd tea gardens.

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