Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Dozens of people have died in Iran over the past three weeks after drinking bootleg alcohol, government officials said.
Ministry spokesman Iraj Harirchi said the death toll climbed to 42 on Monday and more than 400 people across the country have been hospitalized, Radio Free Europe reported.
The youngest victim to be killed was a 19-year-old woman.
Of the more than 400 hospitalized, Harirchi said that 16 lost their vision and 170 underwent dialysis.
Alcohol is illegal for Muslims in Iran and violators of the law are subject to flogging and fines but bootleg liquor is fairly common. According to the BBC, ethanol is sometimes replaced with toxic methanol in bootleg batches.
On Friday, police raided an underground distillery suspected of producing the poisonous drink and arrested 31 people.
Last week, police arrested a couple in the southern city of Bandar Abbas for making homemade liquor.
Iranian authorities dish out harsh punishment for people who violate the alcohol laws.
In July, an Iranian Muslim in his 20s was punished with 80 lashes for allegedly drinking alcohol 10 years ago during a wedding party.