Locals had complained as long ago as July about the sale of the bath lotion as an alcoholic drink, but the authorities failed to act. Picture: IRK.ru
Funerals have begun for the Irkutsk people – many of them poor – who were poisoned to death by drinking contaminated alcohol. Some 71 have died, and another 36 remain in hospital.
A funeral company employee in hard-hit Novo-Lenino district said: ‘The burials of victims began yesterday.’ Some died from drinking bath lotion containing unsafe alcohol, others from counterfeit vodka.
At least seven children have been made orphans after losing both parents, say reports in the Siberian city.
A seven year old girl rushed to neighbours when she saw her mother and father deteriorating before here eyes. ‘They called an ambulance but it was too late – both her parents died,’ said a source.
Some 71 have died, and another 36 remain in hospital. Picture: Current Time
A dozen people have been arrested over the poisoning, the worst in modern Russian history. Locals had complained as long ago as July about the sale of the bath lotion – or oil – as an alcoholic drink, but the authorities failed to act, said reports.
President Putin ordered his government to tighten laws governing the manufacture and sale of alcohol-containing products following the deadly mass poisoning from bath essence.
Excise duties had been kept low on products that could be used as surrogate alcohol, he said.
‘We can see what such lax rules are leading to: people are dying like flies by the dozens,’ he warned. ‘I don’t even know how to qualify this,’ he said.
Russia’s top investigator Alexander Bastrykhin flew to Irkutsk this week to head the investigation into the sale of the poisonous drinks.