Contaminated cider kills at least 18 as officials terrified more people will die

Officials in Russia are worried that more people will perish after drinking contaminated cider after at least 18 people passed away.

Dozens of people have fallen ill after drinking adulterated cider in western Russia's Ulyanovsk region, with the lethal levels of methanol in the drink brought into the region in huge kegs from Samara already killing 18.

Authorities detained one person, businessman Anar Huseynov, 32, on suspicion of causing death through negligence and ordered the affected goods to be removed from sale.

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Among the dead is reportedly a 16-year-old girl, with 10 people reported to be in a coma. Fourteen of the dead were residents of Dimitrovgrad, and three lived in Ulyanovsk.

Shockingly, one of the poisoned people is reported to be a minor, while another is a pregnant woman.

Russian media said intensive care beds were being set up across the region, with 43 people in Ulyanovsk alone are reported to be poisoned so far.

"Doctors are fighting to save the lives of each of them," Russkikh said.

Victims suffered nausea, severe headaches, pale skin, dark circles under the eyes, Mail Online reported.

One of the dead was a worker at a store which sold the cider.

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"She drank a glass," said a colleague. "They took her away, she was in a coma. Now they have just called me and said that she had died."

Alexey Russkikh, governor of the Ulyanovsk region, told retailers to stop selling the alcohol.

"The drink was sold for bottling, it was brought to the region in 30-litre bottles," he said.

"Now law enforcement officers are engaged in the seizure of these products in our region.

"Our doctors and social services continue to provide all necessary assistance to the victims."

The product contained methanol, much more toxic than the ethanol found in regular alcoholic drinks.

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