16 Sep 2012

Czech alcohol ban widens after bootleg liquor deaths

8:45 am on 16 September 2012

The Czech Republic has indefinitely banned all sales of liquor with after 19 people died from drinking bootleg liquor containing methanol.

Emergency measures have been imposed banning the sale of more than 20% alcohol and authorities are carrying out searches to try to find the source of the drink.

Police have arrested a 36-year-old man in connection with the deaths.

The Health Ministry had already banned the sale of spirits by street vendors and market stalls after the first deaths in the Moravian-Silesian region.

The ban has been widened to include bars, restaurants, shops and supermarkets.

The BBC reports that some of those taken to hospital with alcohol poisoning have gone blind and others have been put into artificial comas by doctors.

Those poisoned were taken ill after drinking what they thought was vodka and rum bought in supermarkets and shops.