Six people had been arrested by Thursday night for involvement in a toxic liquor case, which left 11 people dead and 50 others hospitalized in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, a local police chief said Friday.
The six are among 19 suspects who have been detained and four other suspects are still at large, said Liang Xingxia, deputy head of the Guangzhou City Public Security Bureau.
Among the six, four are distillery runners and two are methanol sellers.
The first toxic alcohol death was reported on May 11 in Baiyun District of the city, and a total of 443.75 kg of distilled toxic spirit has been confiscated so far.
Guangdong has launched an emergent inspection on bulk liquor, covering all alcohol distillers in the province, according to a government official.
The province strictly prohibits all spirit producers to blend industrial alcohol or methanol in their products and demands them to intensify control over raw materials purchasing and product quality.
Inspection on the qualification of all alcohol sellers has also been strengthened.
To prevent fake liquor from entering the market, all alcohol sellers are prohibited to purchase liquor from producers without operating license and quality certificate.
Health authorities at all levels and hospitals in Guangzhou are required to keep a close watch on patients who drank bulk rice wine over the past few days and have symptoms of methanol poisoning. Such patient should be reported to local disease prevention and control center.
The local authorities have urged residents not to buy alcohol products in bulk and publicized the knowledge on alcoholism prevention through newspapers, TV and other media.
(Xinhua News Agency May 21, 2004)