PETROZAVODSK, Russia -- Four Belarusian nationals have died and four more are in hospital in Russia's northwestern region of Karleia after consuming bootleg vodka.
Karelia's Health Minister Mikhail Okhlopkov said on August 24 that the four in hospital after drinking tainted vodka are in a serious condition.
The Investigative Committee said it has launched a probe into the poisoning incident.
Media reports quoted sources close to the investigation as saying that preliminary information revealed that the vodka contained methanol -- which can be fatal if consumed internally -- instead of regular alcohol, or ethanol.
Poisonings with surrogate alcohol are common in Russia, as people look to save money on cheaper drinks.
In December 2016, 78 people died in and around the Siberian city of Irkutsk after drinking a scented herbal bath lotion called Boyaryshnik, Russian for Hawthorn, which contained methanol.