Hyderabad | Jagran News Desk: In a shocking news, nine people were killed at Kurichedu in Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam district after they allegedly consumed alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

The deceased have been identified as Guntaka Rami Reddy (60), Bhogem Tirupataiah (35), Anugonda Srinu (25), Raja Reddy (65), Kadiam Ramanaiah (28), Babu (40), Ramanaiah (65), Augustine (45) and Charles (45).

In a statement, Prakasam district Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddharth Kaushal said that the nine people had been consuming sanitiser while mixing it with water and soft drinks over the last few days.

The police also revealed that these nine people were consuming sanitiser due to non-availability of liquor as the district administration has enforced a lockdown in Kurichedu to break the chain of the highly contagious coronavirus.

In another statement, Kaushal said that the police have started an investigation, adding that it is investigating whether the deceased were consuming the sanitiser with other toxic substances.

"Their family members say these people have been consuming sanitiser for the past ten days. We are sending the sanitiser stocks, being sold in the area, for examination," news agency PTI quoted Kaushal as saying.

The sanitiser bottles have been seized by the police and all the bodies have been shifted to Darsi government general hospital for post mortem, the SP noted.

As per police, it started on Thursday when two beggars near a temple were the first to fall victim. While one of them was found dead at the spot, another died in the government hospital in Darsi town, the police said.

A third person was also taken to the Darsi hospital late on Thursday night after he fell unconscious but he was declared brought dead. Six others who fell ill after allegedly consuming sanitiser, died this morning, the police said while adding that others who fell ill after consuming sanitiser are undergoing treatment at their residences in the village.

Liquor stores in Andhra Pradesh were reopened on May 4 after the Centre revised its guidelines. However, the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government hiked the rates of alcohol in the state and reduced a number of liquor shops.  

(With PTI inputs)  

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma