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4 detained after baijiu poisonings

FOUR people are in police custody after the consumption of bulk baijiu left four people dead and more than 10 in hospital in central China's Hubei Province.

Two villagers were reported dead on Monday, and another two died on Tuesday in the Wufeng Tujiazu Autonomous County, Yichang City.

Preliminary tests showed they were poisoned by drinking bulk baijiu, a grain alcohol made by a local privately run plant. It contained a larger-than-normal amount of methanol.

The plant owner Wang Hongbin and three employees are under police investigation.

Chen Liang, the county Party chief, said of the 6,548 kilograms of such liquor already sold, more than 4,000kg had been recalled.

Bulk baijiu, commonly sold in poor rural areas, usually has fewer safety inspections than bottled baijiu.

The county government has issued a notice telling local residents not to drink bulk baijiu and notified neighboring areas about the case.


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