Dozens of people in Siberia are reported to have died of alcohol poisoning after drinking bath lotion. Another 15 are gravely ill in hospitals in the city of Irkutsk.
It is the most serious incident of its kind in recent times in Russia, where people in sometimes use alcohol-based products as a cheap alternative to vodka or intoxicating drinks. At least 33 people have died.
“We were admitting patients in a very serious condition with symptoms of severe poisoning and signs of endotoxin shock. All patients have been admitted to the intensive care unit and were given appropriate medical treatment,” said one senior doctor at a local hospital
A number of people have been arrested as part of a police investigation, in which thousands of bottles of the bath oil have been confiscated.
Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev has said he’s considering legislation to control the sale of such products and tougher punishment for those selling them illegally.