Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Libyan rocket fuel

In the news today, Libya.  No not the anticipated reports that you would expect from that troubled part of the World, but the report that 60 people have been killed & 700 are suffering the effects of alcohol poisoning.

The information follows reports of a homemade brew, known locally as Boukha; being sold illegally that was laced with methanol.  The consumption & sale of alcohol in the North African country is banned but prohibited drink is available on the black market.

A quick science lesson regarding methanol; Methanol ingested in large quantities is metabolized to formic acid or formate salts, which is poisonous to the central nervous system, and may cause blindness, coma & death. Those facts alone should be enough to make you slightly nervous of drinking any homemade hooch.

Such was the extent of the amount of casualties from this domestic made venom that the hospitals in the capital city of Tripoli were unable to cope & sent stricken victims to clinics in other parts of the country. The sufferers, including 10 women are said to be from Libya & other Arab states.

As a result six people have been arrested in relation to concocting the deadly beverage, who very wisely knowing its contents didn’t drink it.  Two others are on the run following being named for their involvement in the blending of the lethal potion. 

Methanol has also been used in adapted motor vehicles, so our two Boukha fugitives from justice could have the means for a potent getaway. 

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