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Russia. At least 32 fatalities after drinking counterfeit alcohol in Orenburg Oblast

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At least 32 people have died and more than 60 have been rushed to hospitals for the consumption of counterfeit alcohol in the Orenburg region of Russia. Seven people were arrested in this case.


The first reports of deaths related to the consumption of counterfeit alcohol surfaced on October 7. Nine people aged 36 to 76 died then. In the days that followed, the number of victims began to increase, and additional places were prepared in the intensive care units in Orenburg hospitals. In stores, checks have begun in search of counterfeit liquors.

On Sunday, the Interfax agency reported that 32 people died due to the consumption of counterfeit alcohol, the number of people admitted to hospitals rose to 64. The daily “Kommersant” reported that the victims include, among others, parents of five children.

In one of the villages of the oblast, where nine people died, counterfeit liquor was sold in the only grocery store that did not have a license to sell alcohol.

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Russian investigators in a warehouse where counterfeit liquor was stored Reuters

Methanol dose in the body

The minister of health in the Orenburg region, Tatiana Savinova, told journalists that in many patients the concentration of methanol was several times higher than the lethal dose. “Lethal methyl alcohol is practically indistinguishable from ethyl alcohol. Savinova again urged the people of Orenburg to refrain from drinking any alcohol, regardless of when it was bought,” reported Interfax.

The counterfeit alcohol came from the city of Orsk in Orenburg Oblast and was distributed in various places. So far, seven people have been arrested, including a saleswoman from one of the stores. The main suspect is a 29-year-old resident of Orsk. In this city – the Investigative Committee of Russia reported – the main warehouse was discovered, where the liquid containing alcohol was stored in 11 barrels with a volume of 200 liters.

The counterfeit alcohol was stored in metal barrels Reuters

Deaths after drinking a cosmetic product

In 2016, 78 people died in Irkutsk, Siberia while drinking a cosmetic product containing methanol. In response to these events, Russia has increased criminal liability for violations in the production and sale of substances containing spirit.

Interfax, Kommersant, PAP

Main photo source: Reuters

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