밀주 피해자들이 치료받는 병원 현장
밀주 피해자들이 치료받는 병원 현장

Officials in northeastern India say the death toll for people who drank tainted bootleg liquor has climbed to at least 140.

Authorities say another 200 people who drank the moonshine are hospitalized, some of them in critical condition.  

"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.

The victims, many of them women, are mainly tea plantation workers, officials say.

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

Hundreds of people die yearly in India from drinking 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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