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Death Toll From Bootleg Alcohol Poisoning In Russia Rises To 29

Updated

In Russia, people often seek out cheaper, bootleg options to store-bought vodka. (file photos)

Russian officials said the number of people who have died after drinking bootleg alcohol had jumped to 29, as investigators detained more people in the southern region of Orenburg.

A local government official told the Orenday news outlet that 28 people were hospitalized with at least 13 of them in serious condition.

Police in Orenburg are currently carrying out a mass inspection of stores in search of counterfeit alcohol.

Local news reports said at least six people had been detained since the first reports of the people falling ill on October 7.

Those detained include one man who was arrested for allegedly distilling the booze at his house, and three others for distributing the alcohol in local shops.

Poisonings involving homemade, bootleg alcohol occur regularly in Russia as people seek out cheaper options to store-bought vodka.

Like many countries around the world, Russia is currently experiencing a sharp rise in food prices. Russian inflation exceeded 7 percent in September, a five-year high.

In December 2016, 78 people died in and around the Siberian city of Irkutsk after drinking a scented herbal bath lotion that contained methanol -- a toxic type of industrial alcohol.

Methanol poisoning symptoms -- including headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, and vertigo -- take a while to surface. Most victims seek medical care after a significant delay, which contributes to the high level of morbidity and mortality, experts say.

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