Page last updated at 06:23 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 07:23 UK

Bangladesh drug firm chief jailed

Dhaka map

The head of a Bangladeshi drugs firm has been jailed after a court denied him bail in a case related to the manufacture of toxic paracetamol syrup.

The judge said the managing director of Rid Pharmaceuticals Mizanur Rahman had a role in the preparation of the toxic medicine which killed 28 children.

The infants, all aged between 11 months and three years, died after being given the medicine earlier this year.

Doctors confirmed that the syrup contained diethylene glycol.

The chemical, used in the textile and leather dyeing industries, was mixed with paracetamol because it is cheaper than the normal solvent, the authorities say.

The children died of kidney failure within six weeks of taking the medicine. All the victims lived in the eastern district of Brahmanbaria.

Officials said they believed that the presence of diethylene glycol in medicine was also responsible for the deaths of as many as 300 people in Bangladesh in the 1990s.

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