16 Dec 2011

Toxic alcohol toll

5:44 am on 16 December 2011

At least 143 people have died in the state of West Bengal in India after drinking toxic alcohol.

Dozens of others from 12 villages in the South 24 Parganas district are being treated at a hospital, many in a serious condition.

Despite being ill, many others stayed home fearing police harassment if they went to hospital.

The alcohol was sold in a small liquor shop in the village of Sangrampur, near Calcutta and drunk on Tuesday evening.

Ten people have been arrested.

The BBC reports toxic alcohol deaths are a regular occurrence in India. Illegal alcohol (called desi daroo) usually costs as little as 10 rupees (20 US cents).