Two died while 5 others have fallen ill after consuming adulterated toddy from a Fishtail Palm tree near Chitrakayaputtu village, Visakhapatnam agency area.
The deceased were identified as China Bullemma (55) and V. Bhavati (13). Meanwhile, five minors fell seriously ill after drinking toddy. are Rambabu (17), V Nani Babu (12), B Madhulata (10), B Vishnu Murthy (4) and B Chinnababu (4) had consumed it to quench their thirst while returning from a nearby hillock to collect firewood.
Reportedly, the condition of four of them is stable at the moment and may be released from the hospital soon. Madhulata developed complications and the doctors have referred her to the King George Hospital in Vizag.
Police investigating the case noticed a pot tied to the palm tree from which toddy was extracted. The deceased drank from it and succumbed immediately while the five children were found lying near the tree convulsing. It is suspected that the pot used to mix the toddy may have contained pesticides earlier.
Notably, in February this year, two youths died and three were hospitalised after drinking toddy in the interior region of Araku mandal in Visakhapatnam. Local Police sources confirmed that the deceased and three others had consumed it in the morning and developed complications by that night.
Drinking toddy is a common practice among men and women of tribal areas. Some drink for the intoxication, few others drink it for its medicinal value.