Liquor tragedy: Experts cite Methanol poisoning

IMPHAL, 31st July: With one more liquor consumer succumbed late Saturday night, the death toll in the Oinam Sawombung toxic liquor consumption case has reached five so far. The fifth victim identified as Oinam Brojen (49) son of late Tombi succumbed at Shija hospitals at about 11.30pm. Toxic liquor consumption has so far claimed the lives of Wangjam Herojit (37), Oinam Shyam (57) and Oinam Brojen (51) and Khumanthem Muhindro, all residents of Oinam Sawombung. Khumanthem Muhindro died on July 29 at RIMS hospital.

Still, seven locals of Oinam Sawombung who consumed the toxic liquor are undergoing treatment at Shija hospitals and 19 more at Raj Medicity. With conditions of 16 out of 19 admitted to ICU unit of Raj Medicity improving, they have been shifted to the general ward.

Meanwhile, experts suggested that Methanol poisoning led to death and hospitalisation of the Oinam Sawombung locals. The poisoning could be due to wrong process in distillation or adulteration to enhance strength of alcohol content. Methanol poisoning led to failure of vital human organs after it entered blood vessels thereby causing loss of eyesight and kidney failure.

Such patients could be treated through dialysis and supportive treatment, an expert informed the media, adding that Methanol in the blood vessel could be filtered through dialysis. Sometimes, liquor could be administered to the suffering patient to lower the level of Methanol, the expert added. Meanwhile, the couple who distilled the said liquor arrested by Wangoi police have been remanded to six days’ police custody. As part of the police investigation into the case, liquor samples have been sent for laboratory testing.

Meanwhile, a meeting convened Monday at Oinam Sawombung resolved to a form a JAC. The meeting attended by Meira Paibi activists of Wangoi, Laiphrakpam, Top Siphai and Samurou also resolved to take collective effort on the matter and pressurise the government to provide compensation to next to kin of those who died due to toxic liquor consumption

The meeting also resolved to organise a mass rally Tuesday apart from resolving to pressurise the government to award betting punishment to those involved in the poisoning case.

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