Bootleg alcohol kills 14 in Siberia

MOSCOW (AFP) - Fourteen Russians have died from alcohol poisoning and another 11 had to be hospitalised after consuming bootleg liquor, a Siberian health official said on Sunday.

The victims, who hailed from the small village of Krasny Velikan (Red Giant) in Siberia, died presumably after drinking ethyl alcohol over the weekend, said Ms Irina Beloshitskaya, a spokesman for the regional health ministry.

Eleven were hospitalised in the nearby town of Krasnokamensk and three of them were in a grave condition.

"They are now receiving hemodialysis," Ms Beloshitskaya told AFP, referring to a treatment for kidney failure.

Governor of the Zabaikalsky region Konstantin Ilkovsky flew into the village along with doctors, investigators and representatives of the emergencies ministry.

"This is a true tragedy for the Zabaikalsky Region," Mr Ilkovsky said in comments released by his office.

Alcohol abuse is widespread in Russia. Some resort to drinking everything from adulterated liquor to anti-freeze.

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