Counterfeit alcohol claims 18 lives in Russia

Two people from Yekaterinburg in Russia have been arrested in connection with a counterfeit alcohol incident that resulted in the deaths of 18 people.

It is the second major incident involving counterfeit alcohol in Russia this month coming after 36 people died in the Orenburg region after drinking illicit alcohol that was later found to be contaminated with methanol.

Ingesting methanol can lead to damage to the eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system and gastrointestinal tracts, with high levels of exposure leading to coma and death, mainly caused by CNS damage.

Anyone found guilty of supplying the illicit alcohol faces prison terms of up to 10 years, under new penalties introduced in 2017 in the wake of a mass counterfeit alcohol poisoning in Siberia in the prior year.

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