Police find illegal vodka plant at fatal blast site
Published 15/07/2011 | 05:00
The explosion that killed five people and left another battling for his life with extensive burns occurred at an illegal factory that was manufacturing alcohol.
Police in Boston, Lincolnshire, England, urged anyone who knew the men, who were believed to be Eastern European, to come forward as officers waited to question the survivor, who was last night having surgery.
The still was behind a stud wall at an industrial unit which was being rented from a local landlord by a Lithuanian who is no longer in the country.
The tragedy comes three months after police, trading-standards and customs officers raided eight premises across the town recovering 88 litres of potentially fatal counterfeit vodka. The shops are having their licences revoked, although no arrests were made.
Yesterday local people said the sale of illicit liquor, repackaged as well-known brands and costing as little as £2 (€2.28) a bottle, was an open secret among the large community of migrant workers and the network of continental stores that has grown to serve them.
Trading-standards officers said confiscated drinks contained large quantities of methanol, which could also cause blindness.
Local MP, Mark Simmonds insisted that until the blast on Tuesday night there was no indication that illegal hooch was being brewed in Boston.
"We must get information into the public domain to make people realise how dangerous it is not just to make it, but to consume illicit alcohol," he said.
Photographs of the site revealed dozens of bottles being kept at the unit. (© Independent News Service)