At least two dozen Indonesian students have died after drinking a lethal batch of moonshine which tested at 96 per cent pure alcohol.
The bootleg liquor, known locally as oplosan, was brewed at a black market distillery and drank at several parties throughout the town of Sleman, Java, the Daily Mail reports.
25 other people have been hospitalised after drinking the toxic concoction and authorities say autopsies will prove if the students died of alcohol poisoning, or whether another poisonous substance in the brew is to blame.
— BeritaSatu.com (@Beritasatu) February 8, 2016
Police commissioner Yulianto said:
The victims were rushed to several hospitals when they suffered severe pains following the consumption of oplosan.
Police have sent the hard liquors mixed with harmful substances to the laboratory in Semarang to be tested.
The local police have claimed that the victims purchased the liquor from a couple in Sleman, a town north of Yogyakarta city. The couple who sold the brew of ethanol, water and fruit have now been arrested.
— detikcom (@detikcom) February 8, 2016
There have been several previous cases where bootleg alcohol has proved fatal in the Muslim-majority country with some reporters claiming the drink offers a cheap path to ‘alcoholic oblivion’.
In 2014, over a dozen Indonesians in Java died after they drank the illicit booze to ring in the New Year.
Only last year, authorities banned small shops from selling alcohol, causing health advocates to warn the move could push people to purchase black-market spirits.