14/01/2015 8:20 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Bootleg Liquor Kills 28 In Uttar Pradesh, Puts 90 In Hospital

STRDEL via Getty Images
Indian relatives mourn over the bodies (bottom C) of two brothers who died after consuming bootleg liquor at Datli village in Malihabad, Indian's northern Uttar Pradesh state, on January 13, 2015. Twenty seven people have died from alcohol poisoning after drinking the liquor in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a report said. More than a hundred patients are receiving treatment with about 10 reported in serious condition, a report said. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

A batch of bootleg liquor has killed at least 28 people in India, where tainted illegal alcohol often kills poor villagers unable to afford licensed spirits.

Fifteen people died on Tuesday and about 90 remained in hospital, said Debashish Panda, principal home secretary of Uttar Pradesh, taking the total death toll since Monday to 28.

The victims from Malihabad, about 25 km (15 miles) from the state capital, Lucknow, became severely ill after consuming the drink on Sunday night, their families said.

The death toll may rise further as most of the victims were in serious condition, said Kausar Usman, a doctor at King George's Medical University in Lucknow.

Police have arrested two men who they suspect made the brew with methanol, a chemical used in industrial items such as fuel and antifreeze.

Angry family members burned down the rustic distillery where the liquor was produced and sold, police said.

Deaths from drinking moonshine are common in India.

In 2008, 180 people were killed after consuming poisonous moonshine in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in India's worst spate of deaths in recent years.

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