ORENBURG, Russia -- The number of victims who died after drinking bootleg alcohol rose to 17, officials said, as police announced the arrests of several people.
Regional police said on October 8 that a resident in the town of Orsk had been arrested for allegedly distilling the booze at his house, and three other men were detained for distributing the alcohol in local shops.
The regional unit of the national Investigative Committee, which said only three suspects had been arrested, said it found a significant amount of bootleg alcohol at the site where it was being produced.
The press service for the regional governor, meanwhile, said 33 cases of alcohol poisoning had been reported in total, with 17 deaths. That was up from an earlier report that said there were 14 deaths.
Poisonings involving homemade, bootleg alcohol occur regularly in Russia as people seek out cheaper options than store-bought vodka.
In December 2016, 78 people died in and around the Siberian city of Irkutsk after drinking a scented herbal bath lotion called Boyaryshnik, which contained methanol -- a highly poisonous type of industrial alcohol.