Four persons, including three women, died and six others fell ill, one of them seriously, after consuming “contaminated liquor” suspected to be adulterated spirit at Palair village in Kusumanchi mandal on Saturday. Tragedy struck the village on the eve of Holi festival.

The police identified the victims as V Sita, 35, B Sujatha, 30, B Lakshmi, 40, and P Rajaiah, 50, of Palair. All the four hailed from poor families of weaker sections, mainly the tribal community, sources added.

Substance adulterated

Sources said that around 10 persons, including several women, belonging to different families, consumed some adulterated substance believed to be rectified spirit contaminated with methyl on Friday night.

Rajaiah allegedly procured rectified spirit from the crew of a lorry bound to Kakinada two days ago.

He allegedly diluted the spirit and mixed methyl with the substance to make a quick buck on the eve of Holi. He too reportedly consumed the contaminated brew along with nine others the same night.

Giddiness, nausea

Four persons suffered acute stomach-ache and vomiting on Saturday morning. Six more complained of giddiness and nausea later in the day. While one person died in the village in the evening, another succumbed on the way to hospital.

Two more, including Rajaiah, died during treatment at a hospital in Khammam on Saturday evening. Six persons were admitted to various hospitals in the town.

Critical

The condition of one of them was stated to be critical.

Some of the irate relatives of the deceased attributed the tragedy to bootlegging.

However, police sources maintained that the victims consumed rectified spirit contaminated with methyl. It is suspected that an organised gang was illegally transporting rectified spirit on the pretext of use for industrial purposes and selling the same, after diluting it, to gullible people.