In Russia, the number of victims of poisoning with the low-alcohol drink Mister Cider, which, according to preliminary data, contains methyl alcohol instead of ethyl alcohol, is increasing. Russian media has compiled the latest data on the development of the situation.
How it all began
In the first days of June, a massive “apple cider” poisoning occurred in Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk region. The city’s mayor, Andrey Bolshakov, said many victims needed to be placed in intensive care, among them a 16-year-old girl. The municipal commission for emergency situations investigated the situation and concluded that the drinks causing the poisoning were sold in different outlets.
Preliminary data quickly arrived: these were the stores of the Territory Pivo chain, covering the Ulyanovsk region. Authorities in the region have urged the public not to consume any brand of apple cider. However, at least 16 people died in the region from poisoning with a counterfeit drink – and 49 others are listed affected.
At that time, there was virtually no doubt that the cause of mass poisoning was methyl alcohol, added to counterfeit alcoholic beverages instead of ethyl alcohol.
Denis Puzyrev, journalist and author of the book “The most recent history of Russia in 14 bottles of vodka”, assured Russian media that real cider cannot cause fatal poisoning, because it contains only ethyl alcohol in small quantities. According to the expert, the victims most likely consumed a mixture of concentrate (for example, apple juice) and alcohol, which turned out to be methyl and not ethyl.
Then it turned out that the drink that caused the mass poisoning had been bottled by Andi LLC and was called Mister Cider. The heads of the company were arrested and the movement of its products blocked under the EGAIS system, so that this alcohol cannot be sold in legal outlets. Rospotrebnadzor assured Russian media that the removal of the deadly drink from circulation has begun. Authorities from several regions reported on the conduct of the inspections.
chain of death
In the Samara region itself, where the “cider” production enterprise worked, two people died after drinking the drink – a man and a woman. In addition, 11 poisoned were hospitalized, nine of them are in critical condition. Soon, the police stopped a truck carrying 810 liters of “Monsieur Cidre” in the area.
In the Ulyanovsk region, 193 30-litre barrels were seized. It turned out that during the last purchases on May 31 and June 1, there were no documents confirming the quality of alcohol.
In an interview with Info24 Puzyrev said that the producers of such drinks do not set themselves the goal of poisoning someone, but simply buy alcohol from their hands at a low price, without checking its quality. According to the expert, in search of low costs, businessmen buy “some kind of apple juice or concentrate and add alcohol to it, which they bought somewhere.” He recalled that similar cases have happened in Russia before, but now fatal poisoning occurs for the first time after drinking a low-alcohol drink.
Soon cases of poisoning informed Nizhny Novgorod Region Health Minister David Melik-Guseinov (although he said the cause was ethylene glycol, a standard component of antifreeze and brake fluids). The official admitted that there were fatalities and that doctors were fighting for the lives of some of the victims. He urged people in the region to refrain from drinking drinks with the word “cider” in the name and multi-ingredient cocktails.
Subsequently, the telegram channel NiMash clarified that two people died of alcohol poisoning in the region, and three are rushed from Bogorodsk to the regional center, and all are on ventilators. In addition, the authorities of the region reported that a cache containing stocks of a counterfeit drink had been discovered there.
Cases of poisoning with the same drink have also been recorded in Udmurtia: a 20-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were hospitalized there in critical condition, reported Deputy Prime Minister of the region Elvira Pinchuk.
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