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Death toll from Russian alcohol poisoning rises to 26

The number of people to have died after drinking adulterated alcohol in Russia has risen to 26, according to the authorities in the Orenburg region.

Moscow, 9 October 2021 (dpa) — The number of people to have died after drinking adulterated alcohol in Russia has risen to 26, according to the authorities in the Orenburg region.

The death toll has risen significantly since news of the mass poisonings emerged on Oct. 7, though 28 affected people appear to have survived their brush with alcohol poisoning, the authorities said. Several of those who have now died were already in a coma.

The regional governor Denis Pasler has issued an urgent appeal to the local population to refrain from buying alcohol.

Pasler said there had been large-scale inspection of shops selling alcohol to remove unsafe drinks from circulation. “Until the results are finalized, drinking alcohol can be life-threatening,” he warned.

According to the authorities, more than 1,200 bottles have been confiscated, although the alcohol in question is visibly indistinguishable from normal alcohol.

In Russia, alcohol may only be sold if it carries an official identification number, but there have been repeated cases of severe alcohol poisoning, particularly in the regions, where drinks are made from cheaper but life-threatening industrial alcohol.

Six people have been arrested on suspicion of dealing in adulterated and unlicensed alcohol. They are believed to have sold the drinks mainly in the city of Orsk, in the Orenburg region.

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