Cuttack: The death toll in the hooch disaster mounted to 26 with the death of 21 more ailing persons in different hospitals in Odisha on Wednesday, official sources said.

While 20 people died at the SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack, one succumbed at the Capital hospital in Bhubaneswar.

19 others are battling for survival in these two hospitals, sources said adding that more ailing people were being brought to hospitals from villages.

All the victims drank liquor from a joint in Mahidharpada area of Cuttack district on Monday and people within the five km radius of Mahidharpada have been affected by the killer drink, district Collector Girish SN said.
The district collector, however, rejected it a case of hooch tragedy saying the people died after consuming spurious medicines and not liquor and a large number of cough syrup bottles were seized from the liquor joint.
Dismissing the collector's argument Drug Controller A P Das said "I am sure, no human being will ever die if he or she drinks concentrated Sinaman Water-BP, which is sold under different brands.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident, Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said. So far eight persons have been arrested in this connection.