Death toll in Russian mass alcohol poisoning climbs to 58

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By Euronews  with REUTERS
Death toll in Russian mass alcohol poisoning climbs to 58

<p>Mass alcohol poisoning has killed at least 58 people in Russia and hospitalised dozens.</p> <p>The fatalities in the Siberian city of Irkutsk occurred after people turned to bath lotion as a cheap, counterfeit alternative to vodka or other intoxicating drinks.</p> <p>Two days ago (December 19) authorities put the death toll at 41.</p> <p>Officials say there were clearly labelled with warnings not to consume the contents of the lotion.</p> <p>One hospitalised man described his symptoms.<br /> “In the morning, when I woke up, I had a severe headache. I realised that I was losing my vision. When I looked at the light it felt like I was blinded by car headlights,” he said.</p> <p>Alexei Tretyakov, a toxicologist at the Regional Health Ministry, explained the sudden rise in cases.<br /> “The large number of people who died under these circumstances can be explained first and foremost by the high concentration of methanol in the liquid they drank. 30-50 ml of methanol is considered a lethal dose.”</p> <p>A police investigation has led to the arrest of several people and the <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2016/12/19/dozens-die-of-alcohol-poisoning-in-siberia-after-drinking-bath-lotion">confiscation of thousands of bottles of bath oil</a>, amounting to hundreds of litres.</p> <p>Perfume, aftershave, anti-freeze and window cleaner are also known to have been used as a substitute for alcoholic drinks.</p> <p>Officials have put a regional ban on the sale of all liquids containing spirits not meant for human consumption.</p>