South 24 Parganas: At least 40 people died and 40 fell ill after consuming spurious liquor in Diamond Harbour area of South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal on Wednesday. However, the authorities have yet confirmed the death of 10 people in the tragic incident.

All the critically ill victims were admitted to Diamond Harbour hospital. Authorities say the number of deaths is likely to increase keeping in view the critical condition of several victims.

The state police have arrested four people in this connection. The police and excise department have started the probe into the matter.

Meanwhile, the state government has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the family members of the victims.

According to reports, around 125 people from Sangrampur, Magrahaat and Nisarpur area consumed the moonshine at a country made liquor joint near Magrahat railway station on Tuesday evening.

They complained of nausea, stomachache, loose motions immediately after having the spurious liquor.

Till now hundreds of victims have been hospitalized in Diamond Harbor and Magrahaat hospitals.

Trinamool Congress legislator from Diamond Harbor, Deepak Haldar, said labourers from nearby areas visit the liquor joint to distress themselves. Around 10 people are said to be in critical condition.

Authorities have formed separate teams of doctors to treat the patients and conduct postmortems.

Angered by the incident, local residents indulged in vandalism and arson demanding culprits be punished.  Superintendent of Police NL Meena, Add SP (Rural) KP Baraui visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

Police have been deployed outside the Diamond Harbour hospital to avoid any untoward incident. A team of excise officials from Kolkata reached the harbor to conduct joint raids with the police.

A CPM delegation headed by former minister and MLA Razzak Molla also visited the hospital and met the survivors and kin of the victims. The delegation confirmed the death of 26 people in the mishap.