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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Alcoholic brew kills 20 Kenyans
Alcohol poisoning victim in Kenya
Some people have gone blind
At least 20 Kenyans have died after drinking illegally produced alcohol, according to hospital officials.

Dozens of other people have been admitted to hospital, and some have gone blind, they say.

The alcohol was drunk over the past few days in the village of Makutano 30km south of Nairobi.

Hospital staff think the brew - made from molasses - may have contained methanol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze, to make it more potent.

Police search

"Samples of the drink will be taken to the government chemists in Nairobi tomorrow to confirm the actual contents," district medical officer Wako Dulacha told Reuters news agency.

We suspect that this is some kind of industrial alcohol
David Kimaiyo, Kenya police

Police have been instructed to search the area for the remains of the brew.

"We suspect that this is some kind of industrial alcohol," director of operations for the Kenya police, David Kimaiyo told AP, adding that arrests have been made already.

One of the victims, Mwoka Musimi, 30, said after one drink he "nearly died".

"I just lost my consciousness. My wife took me to hospital... I'm lucky that I didn't lose my sight or die like my friends."

Some people were found dead in their homes.

More than 100 people died in Nairobi in 2000 as a result of drinking poisonous beer.


SEE ALSO:
Kenya to outlaw alcohol adverts
10 Jun 05 |  Africa
Deal ends East African 'beer war'
14 May 02 |  Business


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