Toll in Andhra hooch tragedy mounts to 15 (Lead)January 1st, 2012 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Jan 1 (IANS) The death toll in the hooch tragedy in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district rose to 15 with five more people succumbing Sunday, police said.
Hours before the dawn of the New Year, the tragedy struck at Poratanagar in Krishna district of coastal Andhra.
The dead include three women. The victims, belonging to three tribal hamlets, consumed country-made liquor Saturday evening and were rushed to the hospital after they complained of giddiness.
Eight people are still battling for life in hospitals at Mylavarm and Vijayawada.
Ten died Saturday night and five Sunday morning.
Doctors at Vijayawada hospital said the liquor consumed by the victims apparently had methyl alcohol mixed in it. Samples of the liquor were sent to Hyderabad for chemical analysis.
A senior excise official, who visited the hospital, said the liquor might have contained a poisonous substance, which led to the tragedy.
Relatives of the victims staged a protest outside the hospital demanding compensation.
Police arrested Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader D. Umamaheswara Rao early Sunday as he along with relatives of the victims sat on a ‘dharna’ at the excise office at Mylavaram Saturday night, demanding action against the guilty and compensation of Rs.10 lakh each to the families of the victims.
Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana ordered a judicial probe into the incident. He also ordered suspension of a circle inspector and a sub-inspector of Mylavaram’s excise department.
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Tags: andhra pradesh, death toll, excise department, giddiness, hamlets, hooch tragedy, judicial probe, krishna district, liquor, methyl alcohol, new year, poisonous substance, rao, relatives, s krishna, saturday evening, saturday night, sunday morning, three women, vijayawada