LAHORE: Thirty-five people have now died after drinking toxic home-made liquor on Christmas Eve in Punjab, officials said Wednesday, one of the deadliest cases of mass alcohol poisoning in the country.
The incident happened in a Christian neighbourhood in the town of Toba Tek Singh. The death toll has risen to 35 as 10 more people affected by toxic liquor died overnight.
Police said 105 people sickened by toxic liquor have so far reported to hospital. Some have been sent to bigger hospitals in the town of Gojra and the city of Faisalabad.
Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the mass poisoning. In police custody, the accused have revealed that they turned aftershave into liquor.
Two of the accused are under treatment.
Though legal breweries exist in Pakistan, alcohol sales and consumption are banned for Muslims and tightly regulated for minorities and foreigners.
While wealthy Pakistanis buy foreign alcohol on the black market at heavily inflated prices, the poor often resort to home brews that can contain methanol, commonly used in anti-freeze and fuel.
Eleven Christians died in October after consuming toxic liquor at a party in Punjab province.
In October 2014 29 drinkers were killed after consuming methanol-tainted liquor over the Eid public holidays.