MAPUTO, Mozambique – Nearly 70 people have died and hundreds of others were admitted to hospitals in Southeast Africa after drinking contaminated beer at a funeral, authorities said.
As of Monday, 196 people were hospitalized and 69 people died in Mozambique’s northeastern Tete province where the beer was served, according to SkyNews.com.
Police are investigating whether the traditional beer, Pombe, was poisoned with crocodile bile during the course of a funeral, it was reported.
Blood samples and the beer has been sent to the capital Maputo to be tested, SkyNews reported.
Health officials reported people coming to the hospital suffering from diarrhea and muscle pain.
“Then bodies from various neighborhoods were brought to the hospital, and this alerted us,” health officials told SkyNews.
Pombe is made from millet or cornflour.