ISLAMABAD – Christmas celebrations turned into tragedy when at least 23 people, most of them Christians lost their lives after consuming homemade toxic liquor served at a party in Mubarak Abad area of Toba Tek Singh.
According to reports, Residents of Mubarak Abad Basti brewed liquor to consume in a Christmas party on Monday night.
Soon after consuming the toxic liquor, the people started vomiting and were rushed to District Headquarters Hospital Toba Tek Singh and Allied Hospital in Faisalabad. At least 23 including two Muslims have been confirmed dead while dozens remain under treatment at different health facilities.
Meanwhile, police have launched an inquiry under DSP Atif Imran to probe the matter.
“The maker and supplier of the toxic liquor is also included among the dead,” senior police official Bilal Kamyana told Reuters. “The maker prepared alcohol at home and sold it in polythene bags for 500 rupees (about $5) each.”
Although legal breweries exist in Pakistan, the sale of alcohol to Muslims is strictly prohibited and tightly regulated for foreigners and minorities.
While wealthy people buy expensive bootlegged foreign alcohol, the poor often resort to homemade liquor that usually contain methanol, generally used in antifreeze and fuel.
Deaths from toxic liquor, often home-brewed, occur periodically in Muslim-majority Pakistan, often around religious festivals. In March, at least 40 people, mostly Hindus, died after drinking toxic liquor days ahead of the festival of Holi.