12 Jan 2015

Toxic beer kills 50 in Mozambique

8:31 pm on 12 January 2015

Authorities in Mozambique have declared three days of national mourning after more than 50 people died from drinking contaminated beer at a funeral.

Zambesi River, Mozambique (file photo)

Zambesi River, Mozambique (file photo) Photo: AFP

Dozens more who drank the liquid - believed to have been contaminated with crocodile bile - on Saturday remain in hospital, the BBC reported.

The woman who brewed the beer and several of her relatives were among the dead, hampering an investigation into the tragedy.

The brew, best known locally as phombe, is made from millet or cornflour.

Speaknig to journalists in Tete, provincial health director Carla Mosse described the incident as a tragedy.

She said authorities did not know for sure the causes of the deadly intoxication - however, they believe the drink was poisoned with crocodile bile.