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Death toll from methanol poisoning in Russian east Siberian region rises to 16

March 24, 2014, 14:15 UTC+3 CHITA

The first reports about the mass poisoning by surrogate alcohol of residents of Russia’s Trans-Baikal Region appeared on March 16

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CHITA, March 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Two residents of the Krasny Velikan settlement that had been taken to hospital in Chita last week after an incident with mass bootleg alcohol poisoning have died at the territorial clinical hospital. The death toll from the poisoning has risen to 16 people, spokeswoman for the regional Health Ministry Irina Beloshitskaya told Itar-Tass on Monday.

“Doctors have failed to save the lives of two people who were in extremely critical consition,” she added.

The first reports about the mass poisoning by surrogate alcohol of residents of Russia’s Trans-Baikal Region appeared on March 16. According to the regional Health Ministry, 16 people died and 33 suffered poisoning in the Krasny Velikan settlement and in the nearby Arabatuk settlement. According to the regional governor’s press service, one more person had died in the Sherlovaya settlement in the Borzinsly district. He had similar symptoms. The regional Health Ministry has disproved the report.

The ministry added that 10 residents of Krasny Velikan are under the care of medics. Ten people were taken to the territorial hospital in the city of Krasnokamensk. Another 13 people are undergoing treatment in Chita, 11 - at the territorial clinical hospital, and 2 - at the city clinical hospital.

Trans-Baikal Region Governor Konstantin Ilkovsky has called the incident “a tragedy for the whole Trans-Baikal Region.” He banned the sale of alcohol with proof higher than 16.5 degrees for a term of one month in five districts of the region - Trans-Baikalsky, Borzinsky, Olovyanninsky, Kalgansky and Priargunsky. A state of emergency is in effect in Krasny Velikan. The sale of strong alcohol is suspended there.

Criminal proceedings have been instituted over the mass alcohol poisoning incident.

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