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Toxic liquor kills 30 in India: officials


At least 30 people died after consuming toxic home-made liquor in eastern India, officials said on Thursday, warning that the toll could rise with more victims in hospitals.

The deaths -- just the latest from dangerous bootleg liquor in India -- were reported from several villages near Cuttack city, 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of the capital of Orissa state, Bhubaneswar.

"At least 30 people are confirmed dead," district administrator of Cuttack,  Girish S.N., told AFP.

As many as 100 people are believed to have drunk from the same batch of poisonous liquor on Monday night.

The state administration rushed emergency medicine and doctors to the government-run S.C.B Medical College and Hospital, in Cuttack.

An officer at the hospital, Dr B. Maharana, said 61 patients were being treated and five were in a critical condition. Most were labourers.

Police have arrested 10 alleged bootleggers and the Orissa state administration ordered action against suppliers of bootleg liquor, which is often called "moonshine".

Deaths from cheap alcohol are common in India. Nearly 170 people were killed in 2011 in the eastern state of West Bengal.