Tainted liquor kills at least 10 in northern India

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LUCKNOW, India (AP) — At least 10 people have died and 39 others were hospitalized after drinking tainted liquor in northern India, police said Tuesday.

The victims drank the liquor at a state-run shop in a village in Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh state on Monday night, police officer Rajesh Kumar said.

They went home and later started vomiting, Kumar said. He said some died at home and others at a hospital. The deceased included a father and his three sons.

The Press Trust of India news agency put the death toll at 12.

Those hospitalized were in stable condition, Kumar said.

The state government ordered an inquiry into the deaths. It suspended 10 government officials and two police officers for dereliction of duty, PTI said.

Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed brands. Illicit liquor is cheap and often spiked to increase potency.

In February, 150 people, mostly tea plantation workers, died and about 200 were hospitalized after drinking tainted liquor laced with methyl alcohol in two separate incidents in Assam state in India's remote northeast.

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