Five die from suspected methanol poisoning in Cape Town

False Bay Hospital.
False Bay Hospital.
Screenshot, Google Maps
  • Five people have died from suspected methanol poisoning, a Western Cape health department official says.
  • Five more are in a critical condition.
  • People have been urged not to consume methanol as a substitute for alcohol.

*UPDATE: Western Cape police have confirmed a sixth person has died after allegedly consuming homemade beer in Masiphumelele.

Five people have died and five more are in a critical condition in False Bay Hospital in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, after being admitted for methanol poisoning on Monday evening, GroundUp reported.

Natalie Watlington, Western Cape Department of Health principal communications officer for southern western sub-structures, confirmed the cases with GroundUp.

Watlington said: "Western Cape Government Health would like to urge members of the community to avoid the consumption of methanol as a substitute for alcohol in order to avoid bodily harm."

Details of the poisoning, including the manner in which the methanol was consumed, the origin of the methanol and the area of residence of those who were poisoned, could not be confirmed at time of publication.

Later on Tuesday, Western Cape police confirmed a sixth person died after the group allegedly consumed homemade beer in Masiphumelele.

According to Western Cape police, it is alleged that 10 men - Zimbabwean nationals - aged between 35 and 49 were admitted to False Bay Hospital after they were believed to have consumed homemade beer on Sunday evening.

"Four males are still receiving treatment, one at False [Bay] and three at Victoria Hospital", said police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said.

Traut said that death inquest dockets had been opened.

*This story has been updated with comment from police.

- Additional reporting by Cebelihle Mthethwa, News24

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