Twenty-five people, including one American, have died over the past two weeks after being poisoned by homemade liquor laced with methanol on Indonesia's resort islands of Bali and Lombok, police said Tuesday.
Former Phoenix, Ariz. artist, Rose Johnson, was among the victims. The 48-year-old died Sunday at the Sanglah General Hospital in Bali after ingesting the lethal concoction made with methanol — a toxic chemical compound often used in antifreeze, the Phoenix News Times reported. It’s believed Johnson most likely died from acute alcohol poisoning.
Police spokesman Gde Sugianyar said that 20 others fell ill and were hospitalized after consuming home-brewed rice liquor, Arak. He said two people had been detained in connection with the poisonings.
Citizens from Britain, the Netherlands and Ireland were also among the dead, said Putu Alit, chief of forensics at Bali's Sanglah hospital.
Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can be used for fuel and is an ingredient in formaldehyde as well as plastics and paints.
Alcohol is heavily taxed in Indonesia, the world's most-populous Muslim nation, and the high prices have spawned a huge black market for wine and liquor.
A local man has been arrested for making the home-distilled liquor that killed Johnson and 24 others, Bali police said.
The Associated Press also contributed to this report.