At least five persons, including a 60-year-old woman, have been confirmed dead after the consumption of a local gin sold by one Uwadiegwu Eze, a native of Umunakara community, in the Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State.
Names of the dead victims were given as: Daniel Nwosu Jnr. 45; Friday Osuji, 70; Ifeanyi Njoku, 31; Adanna Iheanacho, 60, and one Benjamin Okoroafor.
According to Punch, trouble started when residents, who patronised the gin shop between Tuesday, November 14, to Friday, November 17, started having body stiffness and partial blindness which culminated in deaths.
According to the report, the shop owner, Eze, fled after he was informed that consumers of his product were dying.
The State Ministry of Health, on getting the information, sent a team headed by the Director of Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Okeji A., to the community.
Many youths from the community, who drank the local gin, were said to have queued up in their numbers upon sighting the ambulance of the state Ministry of Health, waiting to be taken to Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Okeji lamented that people still patronised distillers who used methanol to boost production of the gin in order to increase their profits.
Toe Elechi, a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state , who is an indigene of the community, thanked the health ministry for prompt response.
He also told the newspaper that security operatives were already on the trail of the owner of the gin shop.