MUMBAI: Thirty-three people have died in Mumbai and nine are fighting for their lives after drinking toxic liquor, police said Friday, in the latest incident of alcohol poisoning in India.
Dhananjay Kulkarni, Mumbai police deputy commissioner, said the victims had fallen ill on Wednesday morning after consuming the illicit moonshine.
Read: Toxic liquor: Police officer fired after death from moonshine
"Thirty-three people have died and nine are in a critical condition after they consumed spurious liquor. The toll may go up," the spokesperson told AFP.
"Crime branch is investigating and three suspects are being held in custody," Kulkarni added.
The chief minister of Maharashtra state, Devendra Fadnavis, ordered an immediate inquiry.
Bootleg liquor is widely consumed across India where it is sometimes sold for less than a dollar, with deaths frequently reported.
Read: Toxic liquor kills 23 in Karachi
In January, more than 31 people died near Lucknow in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh after drinking a lethal batch of home-brewed liquor.
Police arrested 12 people in October 2013 after more than three dozen villagers died from toxic home-brewed liquor in Uttar Pradesh.
In 2011 nearly 170 people died in the eastern state of West Bengal after drinking moonshine.