10 Mar 2005

Ninth death in PNG after consumption of deadly alcoholic brew

8:28 pm on 10 March 2005

A ninth person has died in the Papua New Guinea city of Lae after drinking a deadly alcoholic brew that police suspect contained stolen industrial cleaner fluid.

Six men and two women died after drinking the brew over the weekend and another man died on Wednesday at the main hospital in Lae.

The victims, aged in their twenties and thirties, suffered severe abdominal pains and some were vomiting blood.

One more man, an employee at a chemical company and the suspected supplier, remains in a critical condition in hospital with the same symptoms.

He was taken into police custody on Tuesday for questioning over the deaths but rushed to hospital after becoming ill.

Police told the Post-Courier newspaper they believed an industrial chemical used for cleaning mould and grime off concrete and tiles, was stolen from a chemical company and used to mix the lethal drinks.