19 dead from bootleg alcohol in Ecuador town

Authorities have banned the sale of alcohol in an Ecuadorean community where 19 people died after drinking bootleg liquor.Public Health Minister David Chiriboga says 102 people have been treated for intoxication from adulterated alcohol in the coastal municipality of Urdaneta in Los Rios province, where eight were initially reported dead.

Chiriboga said Sunday the death toll had risen to 19 and police have seized 28 containers each with 55 gallons of alcohol contaminated with methanol. Methyl alcohol is a toxic substance sometimes used to illegally produce cheap liquor.

The health minister said a dry law prohibiting the sale or consumption of alcohol has been in effect since Saturday in the area. The owner of the alcohol is being sought by police.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.