A group of friends in Russia who ran out of alcohol decided to consume hand sanitiser instead, a decision that left seven of them dead.
According to a report by The Moscow Times, nine people consumed hand sanitiser from a five-litre container that they purchased from a local store in the Far East Russian republic of Sakha.
The sanitiser contained 69 per cent methanol, a non-drinking alcohol that is deadly to humans in doses of 30 grams or more.
“Methyl alcohol can cause acute poisoning with death by inhalation, ingestion; irritates the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, eyes. When ingested, the lethal dose of methanol for humans is 30 grams, but severe poisoning, accompanied by blindness, can be caused by 5-10 grams of the substance,” regulator Rospotrebnadzor said.
State-run REN TV reported that the group of friends had consumed the hand sanitiser during a dinner party. While three people died on the spot, the others were taken to hospital and were in intensive care. However, four people died later.
“Two people remain in a coma. The condition is unchanged,” a hospital spokesperson told RIA Novosti.
Local authorities have launched a criminal investigation in the case and authorities have ordered stores to keep products containing methanol off store shelves.
The consumption of hand sanitiser instead of alcohol has also claimed lives in India. At least 10 people died after allegedly consuming alcohol-based hand sanitiser in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh in July.
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