Mumbai moonshine tragedy toll shoots up to 20

Mumbai, June 19 (IANS) The toll in the illicit liquor tragedy in a suburban bar here has shot up to 20 with the death of seven more people, police said on Friday.

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At least five victims are critical and are battling for life at various hospitals.

Two people, identified as Raju Langada and Shankar, have been arrested. They allegedly transported illicit pouches of liquor from the Vasai-Virar region in adjoining Thane district.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry into the incident and sought a report within two days, an official spokesperson said here on Friday.

The victims, mostly living in Laxmi Nagar slums and employed as low-paid drivers and daily labourers, consumed the cheap country liquor at a bar in Rathodi village here on Wednesday night.

They began showing symptoms of poisoning on Thursday morning and since Friday morning, they have been vomiting and suffering from abdominal pains and burning sensation, as also sudden collapse.

Their alarmed family members rushed them to local hospitals, but some of them died en route. Many of the victims hail from Karnataka’s Gulbarga region.

The Mumbai police Crime Branch has taken over the probe, Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil said here.

This is the first major illicit liquor tragedy since December 23, 2004 in which 87 people were killed and another 285 affected in two bars in the Vikhroli and Mahalaxmi areas.

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