Two die, one goes blind after drinking spirits

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, June 8th 2011

TWO male youths in Manus are dead and one left partially blind after drinking what is believed to be methanol contained in a bottle that was floating out at sea.
They were among 12 youths from Andra Island on the north coast of Manus who had picked up the floating bottle from the sea over the weekend.
Lorengau General Hospital medical superintendent, Dr Otto Numan confirmed tests ran on the bodies of the two deceased confirmed their deaths were directly associated with the consumption of methanol.
This is the same for the partially blind youth.
The rest of the youths were undergoing treatment at the hospital and recovering slowly.
Numan confirmed eyewitnesses saying the youths had picked up the floating bottle and drank its contents.
The first youth died on Sunday and the second on Monday.
But provincial police commander Alex N’drasal said the 12 youths had drank homebrew and later lied to hospital officials and the police that they had drank methanol.
“Who will be lunatic enough to just pick up something floating at sea and drink it?” he asked.
N’drasal said police had conducted great awareness on the dangers of drinking homebrew but their advice was being ignored.
He said the authorities had had enough of youths in the province and their “don’t care” attitude.