Cuttack: With 24 more persons succumbing to illness, the death toll by Wednesday in the hooch tragedy at Cuttack reached 30, which prompted the Chief Minister to order a judicial inquiry into the incident.
As many as 50 persons who drank the killer brew on Monday night have been undergoing treatment at the SCB medical in Cuttack.
Deaths have taken place in Tukulipada, Garagara, Brahmana Jharilo, Bada Jharilo and Kurang Sasan under Sadar block in Cuttack district and Vingarpur panchayat under Khurda district.
The victims, mostly workers of a nearby brick kiln, complained of chest and eye pain after consuming the liquor and were shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCB MCH), Cuttack.
Meanwhile, senior police and excise officials today said that the tragedy struck due to a deadly mixture of the country liquor with some highly intoxicating substances produced by a pharmaceutical company, Eastern India Pharmaceutical at Rasulgarh in Bhubaneswar. The police has arrested three persons, Umakanta Rath, the owner of the company, his daughter-in-law and the manager in this connection.
The police said that the company had obtained licence from the excise department only a fortnight ago to procure rectified spirit. But the company used the spirit for production of the liquid that was added to the killer brew.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has ordered a judicial probe into the episode. A retired High Court judge would head the inquiry commission.