Czech Rep Bans Alcohol Sale After Methanol DeathsWorld | September 15, 2012, Saturday // 18:39| views
Bottles of hard alcohol covered by blanket are seen in the bar in Prague city center, Czech Republic. Photo by EPA/BGNES
All sales of alcohol have been suspended in the Czech Republic after 19 people have already died from poisoning after consuming bootleg liquor containing methyl alcohol.
The ban became effective Friday evening for a yet undetermined amount of time and aims at preventing further deaths until the source of the fake alcohol is uncovered.
24 further persons have been hospitalized in the Czech Republic due to methanol poisoning, with some of them having lost their sight.
The tragic turn of events is being described as the country's worst burst of alcohol poisoning in some 30 years.
The ban covers all liquor with over 20% volume alcohol content and is covers all shops, stores, restaurants, bars and any other places where one can buy alcohol.
Authorities have already informed that they have uncovered a bootlegging facility in Zlin with 5 tonnes of fake liquor stored, some of it containing methyl alcohol.
According to estimates by the Czech association of distillers, the bootlegging industry is quickly growing and now covers 10-20% of the country's market.