Toll rises to 22 in Orissa hooch tragedy
The death toll in Orissa liquor tragedy rose to 22 on Tuesday with several still battling for life in hospitals, officials said.
The deaths and illnesses were reported since last Friday mainly from the five hamlets of Badahuma, Khajuria Pali, Sana Ramachandrapur, Madshurchuan and Baunsiapada in Ganjam district, about 130 km from Bhubaneswar, a senior district administrative officer told IANS.
"While 16 people were declared dead at Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati (MKCG) Berhampur, three people died at district government hospital at Chatrapur. Besides, two people died at other hospitals," he said.
The number of people affected has also gone up with around 32 people battling for life at MKCG, many of them are critical, district health chief UK Tripathy said.
"All of the affected were habitual drinkers and we suspect the deaths and illnesses might have been caused by spurious liquor," he said.
"The death toll and the number of those ill could go up," a district health official said, adding that it was not clear whether the affected people had consumed spurious liquor from one outlet or several outlets.
The villagers were also known to manufacture liquor illegally, he said.