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33 dead from alcohol poisoning in Irkutsk after drinking 'bath lotion'

By Olga Gertcyk
19 December 2016

At least 21 more are fighting for life, gravely ill, in hospital from the lethal concoction.

Those poisoned but still alive are in 'grave' or 'serious' conditions. Picture: Vesti.Irkutsk

The victims drank a bath lotion called Boyaryshnik (Hawthorn) which contains alcohol. In all 54 were hospitalised or died at home. The dead include men and women, many of them middle-aged. 

Those poisoned but still alive are in 'grave' or 'serious' conditions. 

'We have received information that 33 people died in hospitals and at home. In all, 54 people have been affected,' said a source from the Investigative Committee, which probes serious crime. 

Lotion


Hospital

The liquid drunk by the victims was described as a 'bath lotion' strictly for external use but it was sold in local kiosks as an alcoholic drink. Pictures: Vesti.Irkutsk

Investigators say all the victims were residents of one neighbourhood, Novo-Lenino. A criminal case has been opened into the sale of goods failing to meet safety requirements.

The liquid drunk by the victims was described as a 'bath lotion' strictly for external use but it was sold in local kiosks as an alcoholic drink. The first reports of deaths came on Sunday, with more announced on Monday. 

Methanol when drunk is metabolises  to formaldehyde  then formic acid or formate salts. These are poisonous to the human central nervous system leading blindness, coma, and death. 

A chief doctor Leonid Vygovsky caring for the victims said: 'They have heavy chemical poisoning. All of those who were brought to us were unconscious. Their central nervous system, internal organs are struck and the toxic shock was developing rapidly.'

Leonid Vygovsky

A chief doctor Leonid Vygovsky caring for the victims said: 'They have heavy chemical poisoning. All of those who were brought to us were unconscious.' Picture: Vesti.Irkutsk

Andrey Kiselyov, a neighbour of Vladimir Fokeev, 53, who was killed by the poisonous alcohol, said: 'They sell it in every kiosk here for 70 roubles a small bottle . 

'Of course, people drink it. Those who are stronger, drink it as it is, some mix it. It's not the first case. People drink it and go crazy. It's mainly older people drinking it, 40-45 and older.'

Fokeev's stepdaughter Ekaterina Dubrovskaya, said: 'He wasn't feeling well in the morning. I asked him what was happening. He said nothing. I left, went to the city centre with friends, returned home and he was already lying - all black. I called the ambulance. 

'His daughter and I went to the hospital, they said he wasn't doing well. We got home and 40 minutes later received a phone call. They said he died.'

Vladimir Fokeev


Vladimir Fokeev with wife Olga

Vladimir Fokeev, 53, picture with his grand son (top) and wife Olga, 50 (bottom). Pictures: The Siberian Times

She told how 'he always bought this 'Boyaryshnik' in a shop nearby. 'We persuaded him to choose vodka, but he insisted that it is more tasty and no head ache in the morning.

'He said the shop was checked by the authorities. He always bought there. And this Saturday morning bought again, then on Sunday, and at 5 pm we called the ambulance.' 

His widow Olga Dubrovskaya, 50, said: 'They used to sell this is transparent glass bottles, now it's  purplish.'

Poisonings caused by surrogate alcohol are  tragically common, but this case has been described as the deadliest for years.

Comments (1)

So Sorry for their family and friends. This is terrible!
It's a Sad Sad world we are living in.
The Human race are lost.
Andrew , Dover uk
22/12/2016 05:12
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0
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