Hooch tragedy toll up to 32

Cuttack/Bhubaneswar: With two more persons succumbing to illness in the Hi-Tech Hospital near Bhubaneswar due to consumption of the killer brew the death toll today spiralled to 32 while at least 70 others persons were undergoing treatment in the special ward in SCB medical in Cuttack and several other private hospitals and nursing homes.

The effect of the killer brew was still palpable in the SCB medical in Cuttack even sixty hours after consumption. Laxmidhar Bhoi who lost his brother in the tragedy was admitted to the hospital after cremating his dear one. Said Dr S Dash,head of the department of medicines,"All those admitted in both the wards would be under observation for another forty-eight hours."

Meanwhile, the excise department has sent three samples of Epicarm medicines produced by the Eastern India Pharmaceuticals at Rasulgarh near Bhubaneswar for forensic tests. The Drugs Control directorate too has collected samples of the same product for examination. It was suspected that the deaths struck as the liquid was added to the brew which the people had drunk on Monday night from the illegal den of Baidhar Bhoi of village Mahidharpada. Baidhar too died.

The Eastern India Pharmaceuticals had obtained licence from the Drugs Control directotrate in January to sell the product. The Drugs Control directorate wanted to confirm whether it was the same product which caused the liquor tragedy.