Alcohol poisoning toll rises to 60 in Russia

Moscow, Dec 21 (IANS) The death toll in the Siberian city of Irkutsk rose to 60 after more than 100 people drank an alcohol-based lotion, said local health authorities on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Irkutsk region’s Health Department said 60 persons had died so far after drinking the alcohol-based bath lotion, Efe news reported.

Another 41 were intoxicated by the same product and remained in hospital, he added.

The department has announced a provisional ban on the sale of all kinds of liquids containing alcohol if they were not certified alcoholic beverages.

The Russian investigation committee also ordered the seizure of the product, which on its label clearly indicates that it is only for external use.

The deceased were men and women between the ages of 35 and 50.

Most of the victims died in hospital, while a few died in their homes.

The Russian economic recession since 2014 has forced many here in low income groups to consume alcohol-based products, such as fragrances and lotions, instead of legitimate liquor, local media said.

This has increased the number of similar fatalities, especially during winter, when alcohol consumption usually spikes.