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Siberian methanol poisoning death toll rises to 74

December 23, 2016, 5:31 UTC+3 IRKUTSK

A total of 31 residents of Irkutsk remain in hospitals

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© Kirill Shipitsin/TASS

IRKUTSK, December 23. /TASS/. The number of people who died after drinking a bath lotion containing methanol has risen to 74 in Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk, the regional health ministry’s press service told TASS Friday.

"We have information about 74 deaths from poisoning in the period since December 17, the total number of victims is 122. A total of 31 residents of Irkutsk remain in hospitals," the press service said. Previous reports put the death toll at 72.

It was initially reported Friday that the first methanol poisoning was registered in Bratsk, the region’s second largest city, but the news proved to be a common alcohol intoxication.

"The methanol poisoning was not confirmed in the hospitalized man. Doctors found out that it was an ordinary drinking binge. The man was scared by the events in Irkutsk and sought emergency medical aid," Irina Vagunova said.

The man is undergoing treatment at a local hospital. His condition is stable.

A criminal case has been opened into the sale of goods failing to meet safety requirements and resulting in the death of two or more people. A total of 13 people have been detained as part of the ongoing investigation.

Two of the suspects were placed under house arrest, eight were remanded in custody. One person was released. The court will decide on pretrial restriction measures for the remaining two suspects on Saturday.

A ban on sales of all nonfood alcohol-containing products has been imposed in Irkutsk and in the region. The ban will stay in place as long as checks continue at local stores as to whether they have on sale the lethal bath lotion called Boyaryshnik and similar products.

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