rePeople stand next to the bodies of tea plantation workers, who died after consuming bootleg liquor, in Golaghat in the northeastern state of Assam, India, Feb. 22, 2019.
rePeople stand next to the bodies of tea plantation workers, who died after consuming bootleg liquor, in Golaghat in the northeastern state of Assam, India, Feb. 22, 2019.

Officials in northeastern India say at least 84 people have died and another 200 people, some of them in critical condition, have been hospitalized after drinking bootleg liquor.

"The people came to the hospital with severe vomiting, extreme chest pain and breathlessness," Dr. Ratul Bordoloi told AFP, the French news agency.

The situation has overwhelmed local hospitals.  

"Doctors from nearby districts and other medical colleges have been rushed in to deal with the crisis," Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told Reuters news agency.

Many of the victims are tea plantation workers.

Police have initiated an investigation and several people have been arrested.  

Hundreds of people die yearly in India from drinking the cheap, illegally-produced brew.

Less than two weeks ago, more than 100 people died in northern India from drinking tainted alcohol.

 

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