Tainted liquor kills 84 in India’s financial hub of Mumbai

Family members of people who died after drinking tainted liquor wail at a slum area in Malad, in northern Mumbai, India, Friday, June 19, 2015. Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed liquor. Illicit liquor is often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase its potency. (AP Photo)
Family members of people who died after drinking tainted liquor wail at a slum area in Malad, in northern Mumbai, India, Friday, June 19, 2015. Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed liquor. Illicit liquor is often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase its potency. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI (AP) — The death toll from drinking tainted liquor in a Mumbai slum climbed to 84 in the worst incident of its kind in more than a decade, police said Saturday.

Another 31 people, 13 of them in serious condition, were being treated in hospitals after drinking the cheap liquor Wednesday night in Malad, said Deputy Commissioner Dhananjay Kulkarni.

They fell sick immediately. Malad is a northern part of India’s financial capital.

Kulkarni said the police have arrested five people who transported and sold the tainted liquor to poor workers.

The Press Trust of India news agency said eight police personnel have been suspended for negligence of duty.

In 2004, 104 people had died after drinking spurious liquor in Mumbai’s Vikhroli area.

Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed liquor. Illicit liquor is often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase its potency.

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