Nearly a month after the mysterious tragedy that claimed the lives of 21 young people in a bar in a township in the city of East London, South Africa, at the end of June, the South African authorities finally have a lead that could explain the death of the victims found dead, without apparent injuries. Preliminary results of toxicological analyzes indicate the presence of methanol in the blood of adolescents aged 13 to 17, a substance commonly used in the manufacture of counterfeit alcohol.
“It is often found in liquor or ‘cocktails’ made illegally by people who confuse methanol with ethanol and think that methanol can be mixed and drunk as if it were whisky, vodka or other”, explained forensic expert Paul O’Sullivan during a press conference, quoted by News 24.
Methanol is a toxic alcohol found, for example, in liquids used to wash windows and in various household products. Ingested in large quantities, it can cause damage to the kidneys and liver in particular.
Vomiting, blurred vision and chest pain
Survivors of the tragedy were treated for headaches, vomiting, back or chest pain as well as visual disturbances which may correspond to symptoms of methanol poisoning. But the authorities are waiting to know the quantities ingested before confirming possible poisoning. They are also trying to reconstruct the evening of the victims in order to determine whether the counterfeit alcohol was consumed in the tavern where the tragedy took place or in another place, earlier in the evening.
On June 26, more than a hundred young people gathered in a bar in the city of East London, in the south-east of the country, to celebrate the end of exams and celebrate the birthday of a DJ. . In the early morning, the police had found the lifeless bodies of about twenty young people.
Seventeen victims were already dead and four others will die in hospital. The owner of the premises as well as two employees, accused of having served alcohol to minors, were arrested. The drama has upset South Africa, which is wondering about the regulation of places where alcohol is consumed, especially in townships, which are full of “Taverns” clandestine.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.