SHAH ALAM — Sept. 19, 2018: The Ministry of Health is investigating to determine other contents besides methanol in the alcoholic beverages that have left 19 people dead.
The investigation is focused more on the level of methanol in the alcohol, with samples sent to the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory for analysis.
Health Services Director-General Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry has not ruled out the possibility of high methanol content.
“Now we have to determine what was in the deadly drinks. One has been identified as methanol,” he said after an event at the Shah Alam Hospital.
The ministry yesterday confirmed 19 people had died from methanol poisoning. The ministry has received notifications for 51 cases of methanol poisoning, comprising 45 in Selangor and six in Kuala Lumpur. Three of the victims were locals while the rest were from Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh and India.
Apart from the 19 deaths, 14 victims are critical and nine warded for treatment and observation.
Selangor police has conducted 12 raids and arrested seven individuals in connection with the case. The operation was conducted in grocery shops in Bukit Kemuning, Taman Seri Muda and Kampung Baru Subang, Section U5 Shah Alam; Taman Sri Gombak, Taman Daya and Taman Sri Ehsan in Kuala Lumpur and Bandar Rinching in Semenyih.
In the raids, 1,030 bottles of whiskey and 1,767 cans of beer of various brands were seized, said Selangor police chief Datuk Mazlan Mansor. — Bernama