Forty-five methanol deaths recorded while over 130 suffer health problems

Forty-five people have died in the Czech Republic as a result of drinking illegal spirits containing the poison methanol, a police spokesperson said on Tuesday. There were a series of deaths last summer, causing the minister of health to impose a ban on the sale of all spirits for a fortnight. Over 130 people have suffered health problems, including blindness, as a consequence of drinking the bootleg booze. After the introduction of safety measures, the number of cases fell, though seven have been recorded since the start of this year, with most resulting in death. In all seven people are being investigated in connection with the matter; they face jail terms of 12 to 20 years, or even life, if found guilty.

Author: Ian Willoughby