Four people died and 23 others hospitalised in a critical condition after drinking an illicit brew at Heenpanwila in Weliweriya , Gampaha on Wednesday. According to Weliweriya Police, seven of the hospitalized were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Gampaha Hospital Weliweriya Police said.
The men who fell sick have been identified as neighbours and regular customers of the kasippu seller. Even the man who was in charge of the illicit booth had consumed the same brew and he too was hospitalized in a critical condition, Police said.
The men warded in the hospital had told the Police investigators that they first felt faintish followed by irritation of the throat and stomach.
The balance brew seized by the Police was sent to the Government Analyst for his report.
The man who regularly supplied the brew to the Heenpanwila outlet is now under interrogation by the police.
Similar incidents had been regularly reported in the past but the most serious of them was in the late 1970s when over 25 people died and a similar number lost their eye sight after consuming arrack bought from a licensed liquor outlet in Moratuwa town. On that occasion investigators found out that a variety of alcololic liquid used in paint manufacture had been used