At least 57 dead from illegal liquor in south India

Authorities in India say at least 57 people are confirmed dead after drinking illegally brewed liquor. More than 150 people have been treated at hospitals.

The incident happened in a village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Local authorities say people who drank the liquor have been suffering from stomach aches, vomiting and diarrhea since last Wednesday.

They say the illicitly produced alcohol contained industrial methanol, a toxic substance.

Local media reports say police have arrested at least seven people who were involved in illicit liquor sales and seized 200 liters of the drink.

Investigations are underway to determine the distribution route and the manufacturing process.

Deadly incidents over illegally tainted liquor are common in India. In 2019, more than 100 people who consumed illicit alcohol died in the northeastern state of Assam.

While India embraces rapid economic growth, many are still impoverished in rural areas, home to more than 60 percent of the country's population. Authorities are facing the challenge of how to crack down on illicit liquor, as people in poverty cannot afford to buy licensed products.