MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Seven suspects of a criminal probe into mass fatal poisoning caused by a bath lotion in the Irkutsk Region in East Siberia have been pressed with charges, Russia’s Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko told TASS on Tuesday.
"The Investigative Committee’s 5th Investigation Department located in Novosibirsk continues investigating the criminal case of the death of people in Irkutsk after using the alcohol-containing product," the spokeswoman said.
‘Today seven persons have been pressed with the charges of committing a crime stipulated by article 238 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("The Production, Storage and Sale of Goods and Products and the Fulfillment of Works or the Provision of Services Failing to Meet Safety Standards")," she said.
According to the investigators, the Irkutsk law-enforcement bodies have received 123 reports since December 16 about the residents’ fatal poisoning with methanol. All the poisoned persons drank a bath lotion called Boyaryshnik even despite a warning on its label against using it internally.
By now, 77 people have died and another 16 are in hospitals.
A total of 22 suspects have been detained under the criminal case.
"Arrest has been chosen as a measure of restraint for seven of them while another ten have been placed under house arrest and another four are under exit restrictions," the Investigative Committee spokeswoman said.
The deputy head of the local branch of Russia's consumer rights watchdog also detained under the criminal case has been hosptialized, she said.
"As part of the probe, the investigators made 154 inspections, questioned over 215 people as witnesses, including 98 affected persons and their representatives. A total of 18 searches were made at the places of the sale of alcohol-containing products and scheduled over 120 expert studies," the Investigative Committee spokeswoman said.