Middle East

60 dead from drinking homemade brew in Kenya

Kenya's police chief says at least 60 people have died in four counties after consuming homemade brew believed to be laced with industrial alcohol.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said Tuesday the deaths were reported in the counties of Embu, Kiambu, Muranga and Kitui. Kimaiyo says it is likely those affected accessed the same batch of homemade brew containing methanol -- a toxic alcohol added to the concoction to give it more kick.

The deaths were first reported on Sunday night, Kimaiyo said.  Consumption of homemade liquor in Kenya is high where more than half the population lives below the poverty line and many cannot afford to buy standardized alcohol. Occasionally deaths occur from consuming the illicit brew when unscrupulous traders lace the drink with methanol.