(Reuters) – At least eight people have died and dozens are sick after drinking poisoned cider in western Russia’s Ulyanovsk region, local officials said on Monday.
Local governor Alexei Russkikh said the poisoned substance was labeled “Mister Cider” and had been sold on tap after being brought into the region, located on the river Volga, in 30 liter kegs.
“Our medics and social services continue to provide all necessary assistance to the victims,” he said.
According to local media, the cider contained lethal amounts of methanol, much more toxic than the ethanol found in regular alcoholic drinks.
Law enforcement services are seizing the affected goods, the governor said.
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Russia tightened controls on the production and sale of liquids containing high amounts of ethanol after 77 people died drinking cheap illicit alcohol in Siberia in 2016, but the consumption of homemade alcohol remains a problem.
Twenty-nine people died in a single incident in 2021 after consuming locally produced spirits that contained methanol, also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol.
(Reporting by Caleb Davis; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
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