Currently there is a prohibition on alcohol in Ulaanbaatar. I heard that 20 people died from poison vodka. The government decided that since they didn't know where it was coming from, they would suspend the sale of ALL alcohol (the article below says just vodka) until it gets cleared up. It's been a major topic of conversation. I had 2 taxi drivers tell me how nice this city is without drunks around. I must say, this is definitely a different city booze-free. It works out ok for me as I am sick and taking antibiotics,so I can't drink anyway...not that I would want to on Monday morning!
from the Australia News Agency:
ELEVEN new year revellers in Mongolia died and dozens more fell seriously ill after drinking vodka that contained industrial alcohol.
The incident has led to a temporary ban on selling vodka - the nation's favourite alcoholic drink - in the capital Ulan Bator, where the tainted liquor was purchased, Mayor Tudev Bilegt said.
The 11 people died shortly after drinking the vodka on New Year's Eve, while at least 35 others were taken to hospital suffering from poisoning, the National Emergency Management Agency said.
Two of the patients were in a critical condition, according to officials at the Central Military Hospital, where the most seriously poisoned were taken.
Authorities did not give details as to who the victims were, but television reports said many of them were at the same New Year's Eve party.
The killer vodka is believed to have come from one company, which produces eight different brands, according to the government's inspection agency. The agency warned all Mongolians to avoid buying those labels.
The inspection agency said the company mixed an industrial alcohol into the vodka, and that as many as 3000 litres of the killer product could have been made.
Mr Bilegt said the ban on all vodka would remain in place until an investigation was concluded into how and why the poisoned alcohol was made and got onto the streets.
Local press reports said one man had already been arrested for selling the industrial alcohol to the vodka company, although authorities had not confirmed this.