Toxic cough syrup kills 24 in Pakistan

December 30, 2012 - 1:35:24 am


LAHORE: At least 24 people, mostly drug addicts seeking a fix, have died after drinking toxic cough syrup in an eastern Pakistani city, officials said yesterday.

The deaths started occurring on Wednesday in the industrial city of Gujranwala, some 70 kilometres north of Lahore, with most of the victims drug addicts who took the syrup for intoxication, police and doctors said.

“At least 24 people have died after taking an unknown cough syrup,” local health department official, doctor Mah Jabeen, said.

“Seventeen people died at hospital, while seven others were brought dead,” she said, adding that only five affected by syrup were now under treatment.

Local hospital chief doctor Anwar Aman said some 54 patients were brought to hospital who said their condition had deteriorated after they had taken cough syrups.

The victims were between 20 and 40 years old and the majority had a history of drug addiction, Aman said, adding that the culprit syrup had not been identified so far.

Senior police official Azam Mehr said samples of cough syrups available at local pharmacies had been collected and sent to laboratories.

“Police and health department have started inquiries and investigations into the deaths,” he added.


Bus explosion in Karachi kills five

KARACHI: An explosion on a bus in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi yesterday left at least five people dead and wounded 35 others, police said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blast in Sadar, a congested shopping area of Karachi, officials said, adding that a bomb disposal team was trying to determine whether it was caused by a bomb or an exploding compressed natural gas cylinder.

“At least five people were killed and 35 others were wounded,” police surgeon Jalil Qadir said.