Iran death toll increases to 10 following alcohol poisoning incident

Iran death toll increases to 10 following alcohol poisoning incident
The death toll in Iran's southern city of Bandar Abbas increased from eight to 10 following an incident where bootlegged alcohol was consumed. Several remain hospitalised, with some suffering from dialysis and visual impairment.
2 min read
11 May, 2022
Iran has witnessed an increase in bootleg alcohol consumption in recent years, which has killed hundreds [Getty]

The number of people who have been killed by alcohol poisoning in Iran increased to 10 on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.

Nine men and woman are said to have died, while another 19 continue to be hospitalised following the consumption of the homemade alcohol, with four people remaining in critical condition in the southern city of Bandar Abbas.

The incident, which took place last week, initially killed eight people, all of whom consumed the toxic spirits, reported the semi-official agency Tasnim.

A spokesperson for Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences added that 75 people were hospitalised in total, with 45 having to undergo dialysis, while four others are suffering from visual impairment.

Police have arrested eight people so far on suspicion of producing and distributing the alcohol, which was found in the suspects’ homes during conducted searches.

Bandar Abbas officials, however, are yet to identify the toxic substance that killed the victims.

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Similar cases are not uncommon in Iran.

More than 700 people are said to have died in the Islamic Republic, specifically since the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020, as it was widely believed that alcohol could remedy the virus.

At the time, Iran suffered one of the deadliest Covid-19 outbreaks during the early stages of pandemic.

In 2018, 84 people died of alcohol poisoning, consumed over the course of six weeks, according to the ISNA news agency. The main cause of death was said to be the use of toxic methanol- rather than ethanol- when the bootleg alcohol was manufactured.

Methanol is typically used in making anti-freeze, fuel and solvents, and has been used by bootleggers in order to increase the alcohol level in illegally-made spirits. Drinking the substance, even in small amounts, can result in blindness or death.

Alcohol intake is strictly prohibited in the Islamic Republic, with the exception of state-recognised religious minorities.

Consuming liquor can lead to fines, public flogging or prison sentences.