Methanol-Tainted Arak Kills 16
DENPASAR ~ Sixteen people in Bali died after drinking a brew of arak rice alcohol mixed with more than 20 percent methanol, police said on Thursday.
“Sixteen people have died since May 23 from drinking alcohol mixed with methanol. The methanol level was very high, exceeding what a human body can take,” Denpasar police spokeswoman Sri Harmiti said.
Residents had informed police that one of the victims held a drinks party in a rented house last weekend, Harmiti said.
“We seized a gallon of alcohol from the house. We’re now investigating if the brew was homemade or store-bought,” she added.
The victims could have consumed a locally made arak that has gained growing popularity among the island’s youths and adults from low-income families, local media reported.
The beverage is a concoction of rice wine and several other ingredients, including fuel oil, methanol and detergent, to enhance its potency.
Consuming even small amounts of methanol, which is used in the manufacture of a range of chemicals, can cause blindness or death.Filed under: Headlines