FAISALABAD: Four more people died late on Monday night after consuming toxic liquor on Christmas eve, raising the death toll to 22 in Toba Tek Singh, hospital sources said.
Over two dozen people were hospitalised in DHQ Toba Tek Singh as their health deteriorated after consuming the alcohol in Mubarakabad Christian Colony, where 18 of them died.
Condition of 12 others is said to be critical and they have been shifted to Allied Hospital Faisalabad.
Meanwhile, authorities have formed an inquiry committee under DSP Atif Imran to probe the matter.
“Residents in Mubarakabad Basti brewed liquor on Christmas Eve and consumed it. The liquor, which turned out to be toxic, killed 21 people and seriously affected 50 others,” local police official Muhammad Nadeem told AFP.
He said most of the deaths had occurred by late Monday. “Those killed by toxic liquor included 19 Christians and two Muslims,” Nadeem added.
While wealthy Pakistanis buy bootlegged foreign alcohol at heavily inflated prices, the poor often resort to home-brews that can contain methanol, commonly used in anti-freeze and fuel.
Eleven Christians died in October after consuming toxic liquor at a party in Punjab province.
In October 2014 at least 29 drinkers were killed after consuming methanol-tainted liquor over the Eid public holidays.