Andhra hooch tragedy toll rises to 14

A police officer said three more people, who drank moonshine three days ago, died at a hospital in Kakinada. While one person died late Tuesday evening, two others succumbed on Wednesday morning. Seven deaths were reported on Monday, a day after the victims consumed moonshine. Four more succumbed on Tuesday.

The officer said more people from five villages approached various hospitals. Fifty people were admitted to the Government General Hospital in Kakinada. The condition of three of them is critical.

The authorities said about 150 to 200 people might have consumed the illicit liquor at different places in the district during the last two days. They have appealed to the villagers to immediately approach the nearby hospitals if they drank the illicit liquor.

The victims, most of them farm labourers, were taken ill after they drank the liquor at Gagulakurru Agraharam of Ambajipeta mandal in East Godavari district. Another police officer said the labourers belonging to different villages had consumed liquor at an illegal extension of a licensed liquor shop (called a belt shop) in Gagulakurru Agraharam.

The state government Tuesday ordered a probe into the incident. Police have arrested P. Ramakrishna, the key accused who told police that he mixed some tablets in the liquor "to give more kick" to the consumers.

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