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KULSARY, Kazakhstan -- Two oil workers in the western Kazakh region of Atyrau have died, apparently after drinking so-called surrogate alcohol, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The Atyrau Oblast Emergency Situations Department press service told journalists today that the two, employees of the "Sun Drilling" Oil Company, died in hospital on April 5.

It said four other company workers were hospitalized in a serious condition the same day.

Preliminary test results indicate that they may have been poisoned by drinking cleaning fluid.

Surrogate alcohol describes substances that contain alcohol but are not meant for consumption, such as perfume and other products intended for industrial, technical, or medical use, like cleaning fluids.

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