Four people died after consuming tharra (moonshine/hooch) in Vijayawada town of Andhra Pradesh, police said. According to police, two others are stated to be in critical conditions. The incident took place Friday morning at Brahmanaveedhi in the old town of Vijayawada in Krishna district, about 300 km from here. A police officer said all the six were suspected to have purchased and consumed liquor from the same outlet.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has ordered a probe into the incident, which triggered protest from the families of the victims. Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkatramna said a decision on paying compensation to the families of the victims would be taken after a detailed inquiry into the tragedy. This is the second hooch tragedy in the same district this year. As many as 18 people had died in two tribal hamlets in January. According to officials, such tragedies are usually caused by the use of industrial methyl alcohol or denatured spirit (mixture of ethanol and methanol) in making moonshine.