Worst ever TN Hooch tragedy claims 40 lives

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Chennai, May 20 (UNI) The toll in one of the worst-ever twin Hooch tragedies in Tamil Nadu rose to 40, with 24 more deaths reported since late last night at Hosur in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.

Reports received here said the deaths were reported in various parts of the district and the deceased included seven women.

As fresh cases were being admitted to the hospital, three days after they consumed the killer brew on Saturday night at Solur village in Karnataka and at Billamangalam village in Krishnagiri district the next day, officials fear that the toll would rise further.

In all, 56 people were admitted to various hospitals in Dharmapuri, Salem, Hosur, Krishnagiri and Denkanikottai.

At least 30 people were admitted in Hosur Government Hospital alone. The condition of some of them, who complained of blurred vision, was critical.

A majority of the victims were construction workers, who had allegedly consumed the illicit brew, which had contained high dosage of methanol and brought from neighbouring Karnataka to Billamangalam.

All the 14 police personnel attached to the Thali Police Station were transferred to the Armed Reserve in Krishnagiri.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Central Range IG Duraisamy Naik and Krishnagiri District Superintendent of Police P C Thenmozhi held a high level meeting at Hosur.

At the meeting, it was decided to take out the entire list of prohibition offenders in both the states and detain them under Goondas Act.

Vigil across the borders has been stepped up and all vehicles entering and leaving the state were being thoroughly checked.

PMK President G K Mani, who visited the affected villages, urged the government to announce a solatium of Rs five lakh each to the victims and blamed the inefficiency of the police that led to the tragedy.

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