Czech police claim success in methanol case

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PRAGUE — Police have arrested two people suspected in a wave of methanol poisoning that has killed at least 25 people in the Czech Republic in the past two weeks, officials said today.

State prosecutor Roman Kafka said the two, from the northeastern part of the country, are suspected of producing a “brutal blend” of toxic methanol with drinking alcohol, even though they had to know it could seriously threaten the lives of those who drank it.

Authorities believe this blend has been responsible for all the deaths.

Martin Cervicek, the country’s top police officer, said investigators believe some 16.5 tons of methanol were originally used to make toxic alcohol and some 4,000 gallons of it is still on the market. Cervicek called on Czechs not to drink any alcohol of unknown origin.

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