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Four in police custody after liquor case in C China
Updated: 2009-03-25 19:11

YICHANG - Four people are in police custody after the consumption of problematic liquor left four dead and more than ten hospitalized in central China's Hubei Province, local sources said Wednesday.

Two villagers were reported dead Monday afternoon, and another two died Tuesday in the Wufeng Tujiazu Autonomous County, Yichang City.

Preliminary tests showed that the victims were poisoned after drinking bulk baijiu, a grain alcohol, made by a local privately-run plant. It contained a larger than normal amount of methanol.

The plant owner Wang Hongbin and three employees are under police investigation.

Chen Liang, the county party chief, told Xinhua that of the 6,548 kilos of such liquor already sold, more than 4,000 kilos have been recalled.

Bulk baijiu, commonly sold in the poor rural areas, usually has fewer safety inspections than bottled baijiu.

The county government has issued a notice telling local residents not to drink bulk baijiu and also notified neighboring Changyang County and Yidu City of the case.

The local authorities have launched a further investigation into the case.