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Beer Poisoned With Crocodile Bile Kills 69 People At Funeral

12/01/2015 15:31 | Updated 13 January 2015

69 people have died and a further 196 have been admitted to hospital after drinking contaminated beer during a funeral in Mozambique.

The country’s government declared three days of mourning starting on Monday after the tragedy occurred.

The drinkers had been imbibing pombe, a traditional Mozambican beer made from millet or corn flour.

crocodile

It is believed the beer was poisoned with crocodile bile

The exact source of the contamination is still unknown, but authorities believe the drink was poisoned with crocodile bile during the course of a funeral on Saturday.

Police are investigating the incident.

"People flocked to the hospital, suffering from diarrhea and muscle pain," Northeast Tete province Health, Women and Social Welfare Director Paula Bernardo told Radio Mozambique.

"Then bodies from various neighborhoods were brought to the hospital, and this alerted us."

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The government issued a statement on Sunday night to declare the three days of mourning. District health officials on Sunday evening had put the death toll at 56, with 49 hospitalized.

Blood and traditional beer samples were sent to the capital Maputo to be tested, said provincial health director Carle Mosse.

"We are waiting for the results of the tests of the samples being done at Maputo Central Hospital so that we can identify the type of the product put into the drink," said Mosse.

Authorities are collecting clothing, food and coffins for the bereaved families.

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