Over 40 die in Siberia after drinking bath oil for alcoholic kicks

At least 40 residents of the Siberian city of Irkutsk have died after drinking bath oil, Russian investigators say. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

IRKUTSK, RUSSIA (Reuters) – Waiting for news of their loved ones.

At least forty residents of this Siberian city dead after drinking bath oil.

Others hospitalised.

Investigators in Irkutsk say it contained methylated spirits.

The people who drunk it were thought to be seeking a cheap alternative to alcohol.

Use of counterfeit or surrogate liquor is rife in Russia’s poorer regions.

IRKUTSK REGION INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE, KARINA GOLOVACHYOVA,
“Investigators along with police officers are performing searches at markets. They have already confiscated about 2-thousand 250 ml bottles with ‘Boyaryshnik’ (bath oil). Everything has been sent for analysis. An investigation is underway.”

Two people have been detained, suspected of distributing the oil.

Labels on similar bottles say it shouldn’t be swallowed.

(SHOP ASSISTANT, NADEZHDA,

“We usually use it for removing grease – for stickers, old price tags, like old packing tape here which we can’t easily remove.”

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev telling a government meeting he wants to look at banning the products.

The death toll is expected to rise.