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Russia bath lotion kills 48 drinkers

December 19, 2016 4:22 pm

At least 48 people have died in the Siberian city of Irkutsk after drinking bath essence, Russian authorities say.

The hawthorn-scented liquid was consumed as if it were alcohol, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee.

Several others are in a serious condition. Two people have been detained over the deaths and police are removing bottles from shops.

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Investigators said a warning that it should not be swallowed was ignored.

The product, called Boyaryshnik (Hawthorn), was found to contain methanol, a toxin found in antifreeze. A state of emergency has been declared in Irkutsk, and Russia’s top investigative agency opened an enquiry into the incident.

Russian media reported that the victims were poor people, aged between 35 and 50, and were not drinking together.

Household products are seen by some as a cheap alternative to alcohol across the former Soviet Union.

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