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21 dead from bootleg alcohol in Ecuador town

Monday, July 18, 2011 | 7:35 AM    

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QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Authorities in Ecuador have banned the sale of alcohol in a community where 21 people have died after drinking bootleg liquor.

Public Health Minister David Chiriboga says 103 others have been treated for intoxication from adulterated alcohol in the coastal municipality of Urdaneta in Los Rios province, where eight were initially reported dead.

Chiriboga says police have seized 28 containers each with 55 gallons of alcohol contaminated with methanol. Methyl alcohol is a toxic substance sometimes used to illegally produce cheap liquor.

The health minister said yesterday that a law prohibiting the sale or consumption of alcohol has been in effect since Saturday in the area. The owner of the alcohol is being sought by police.

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