Three dead of suspected methanol poisoning in Latvia

Three people have died of suspected methanol poisoning in Bauska Region, the State Police told the LETA newswire August 7.

According to the State Police's Zemgale Region Administration, the police found the dead bodies of two men at a private home in Brunava County on the morning of August 1. The police also found a two-litter plastic bottle at the scene which contained liquid that, following laboratory tests, turned out to be methanol.

The police also discovered that a woman from the same house was hospitalized on July 29 and died the next day.

The police have determined that one of the two dead men had brought the liquid home from his work at a biodiesel production plant.

The police investigation continues.

Methanol is the simplest form of alcohol, closely related to ethanol, the type of alcohol normally found in beer, wine and spirits – but much more toxic - and can easily be produced by incorrect methods of home distilling.

There is a useful summary of the dangers of methanol poisoning at this Australian website.

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