MOSCOW (Reuters) – Investigators in Russia’s Orenburg region opened criminal cases on Thursday into the deaths of nine people from alcohol-poisoning this week after they consumed locally-produced spirits.
The local branch of the investigative committee said it was probing whether alcohol products sold in the region, which borders Kazakhstan some 1,500 kilometres (900 miles) southeast of Moscow, met safety standards.
The committee said that nine people from two villages near the Kazakh border had died from the toxic effects of ethanol on Wednesday and Thursday.
After a case of mass alcohol poisoning in Siberia in 2016, the national authorities ordered tighter controls on the production and sale of drinks, medicines, perfumes and other liquids containing a high percentage of ethanol.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Frances Kerry)