41 dead in Siberia after drinking toxic bath essence

Srinagar: A Siberian city declared a state of emergency Monday after 41 people seeking cheap alcohol died from drinking bath essence containing methanol, a toxic substance used in anti-freeze, a media report said on Monday.

The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a probe into the deaths caused by drinking a liquid labelled as hawthorn-scented bath essence, and has detained several people, the report said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the deaths a “tragedy” that required “very close attention”, the report added.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered his cabinet to “sort out” the problem of selling such alcoholic products not intended for drinking — often labelled as cosmetics — to impoverished alcoholics, the report said.

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