Czech Republic bad booze death toll at 29

Oct. 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The death toll from a batch of bad booze reached 29 Saturday in the Czech Republic, a hospital spokesman said.

Slezska Hospital spokesman Daniel Svoboda told CTK news agency the latest victim was a 60-year-old man in Opava.

The methyl alcohol deaths started occurring in early September. CTK said in addition to the fatalities, dozens of people have been hospitalized with some of them going blind.

About 50 people have been accused in the tainted liquor scandal, including Pavel Caniga, executive of Likerka Drak, a liquor producer. Spirits containing poisonous methanol allegedly were found in the storage facility of the firm's distributor in Zlin, south Moravia, DTK said.

The government invoked a two-week ban on the sale of drinks with more than 20 percent alcohol in mid-September and exports were banned. CTK said the government also ordered that alcoholic drinks produced after Jan. 1 must have a new stamp and a "birth certificate."

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