22 December 2016

Death toll in alcohol poisoning in Russia climbs to 72

Local health officials in Russia's Siberia say the number of people who have died from drinking a bath lotion that contained methanol has climbed to 72.

The health ministry in the Irkutsk region said on its website Thursday that another 33 were still in hospital while six others have been discharged.

Bottles with the lotion carried warnings that they weren't for internal use, but labels said the product contained ethyl alcohol rather than methanol.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the government to restrict sales of surrogate alcohol in the aftermath of the mass poisoning. But Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin in an interview with state television on Thursday rejected suggestions that taxes and duties on alcohol drinks should be lowered in order to cut down the surrogate alcohol consumption.