Five persons have been reported dead in the Umunakara Community in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State.
The Five persons died after taking methanol poisoning in Local gin sold to them by one Uwadiegu Eze, who is also a native of that area.
It was gathered that the whole trouble started weeks back when customers who patronised the gin-shop started developing body stiffness as well as partial blindness which led to deaths.
It was gathered that the owner of the gin-shop fled when he was informed that people who were his customers have been reported dead and are still dying.
The Imo State Ministry of Health sent a team headed by the Director of Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Okeji A., to the community to investigate the cause of the death.
It was also gathered that at the sight of government officials several youths who had in one way or the other consumed the product qued up as they fear they will also suffer the same fate as their counterparts.
Okeji was alarmed at the habit of youths towards the local product stating that there have been several cases of death from local gin which they are aware of and they still patronise the local sellers.
The youths from that community as well as other communities who have bought from that vendor were however taken to the state capital for proper treatment.
Some of the persons who have been confirmed dead include Daniel Nwosu Jnr. (Male, 45); Friday Osuji (Male, 70); Ifeanyi Njoku (Male, 31), Mrs. Adanna Iheanacho (Female, 60) and one Benjamin Okoroafor.
A former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, and a native of that community, Toe Ekechi, has commended the Imo State Government for its prompt response. to the situation.
“Security operatives were already on the trail of the owner of the gin-shop.”
Meanwhile, “eight other victims were on Saturday rushed to Uchenna Clinic, a private clinic in Owerri. When our correspondents contacted the Chief Medical Consultant of the clinic, Dr Ezimefula Andrew, he said one of the eight victims transferred from St Augustine’s Hospital, Ulakwo to the clinic, was already blind, while the others were in other stages of methanol poisoning”