34 Pakistanis die after taking toxic cough syrup

Islamabad, Dec 30 (IANS) As many as 34 people have died in Pakistan's eastern city of Gujranwala after consuming adulterated cough syrup, media reports said Sunday.

Citing Urdu TV channel Dunya, Xinhua said that at least 40 people, showing symptoms of reactions to the toxic medicine, were taken to various hospitals in the city in Punjab province.

Relatives of patients said the affected people drank a locally-manufactured cough syrup, available in the market at a price of Rs.40 for a bottle.

The patients fell seriously ill minutes after drinking it.

Hospital authorities said the adulterated medicine caused serious damage to the internal organs.

Some of the patients were drug addicts who consumed the syrup in a bid to get intoxicated, but died due to over-dosage of the medicine.

Doctors said that in another similar incident in November, 21 people died after consuming the same cough syrup in the provincial capital of Lahore.

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