Authorities announced on Thursday that at least 22 people have died and numerous more have been hospitalized in India after consuming toxic alcohol.
The majority of the deaths occurred in two villages in the eastern state of Bihar, where the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages are forbidden.
Several Indian states have such prohibitions in place, fueling a robust black market for cheap alcohol produced in unregulated backstreet distilleries that kills hundreds of people every year.
In the most recent occurrence, some men in the area of Saran began to vomit on Tuesday before their condition worsened.
On Wednesday and Thursday, local media reported that three people died on the way to the hospital and others died while being treated, bringing the total to 31.
According to hospital director Sagar Dulal Sinha, 22 post-mortem investigations have been performed to date.
Santosh Kumar, a senior police official, stated that authorities had clamped down on illegal liquor stores in the region.
“We have arrested over a dozen liquor traders and detained some others,” Kumar told AFP.
According to the International Spirits and Wine Association of India, over forty percent of the five billion liters of alcohol used annually in the country are produced illegally.
Methanol is frequently added to illicit liquor to boost its potency. Methanol can cause blindness, liver damage, and death if swallowed.
In July, 42 people in the western state of Gujarat died from consuming illicit alcohol.
In a similar tragedy a year ago, over 100 people perished in the northern state of Punjab.