New Delhi: In a shocking incident, a total of nine people have died after allegedly consuming sanitiser instead of liquor in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh on Friday. It has been reported that the deceased have been consuming sanitiser for the past ten days. Police said that they are sending the sanitiser stocks (being sold in the area) for examination. Also Read - Deaths, Spike in Cases, Quarantine: What Happened to US Schools That Resumed Classes in July

“3 beggars, 3 rickshaw pullers and 3 hamalis (porters) consumed sanitiser instead of liquor. One died during treatment, others lost their lives in sleep”, said DSP K Prakasa Rao. Also Read - COVID-19: Record Spike of Over 64K Cases, 861 Fatalities Takes India's Tally Beyond 21 Lakh-mark | Key Points

Speaking about the incident, another official said the people had been consuming sanitiser for the past few days, mixing it with water and soft drinks. “We are also investigating whether they laced the sanitiser with any other toxic substances,” he added.

Earlier on Thursday, two beggars near a temple were the first to fall victim, while one of them was found dead at the spot, another died in the government hospital in Darsi town.

A third person was also taken to the Darsi hospital last night after he fell unconscious but he was declared brought dead by the doctors. Six others who fell ill after allegedly consuming sanitiser, died earlier in the day.

Following the rise in COVID-19 cases, the district has been under lockdown. Liquor shops have also been shut since the past few days.