At least 25 tea-garden workers, including 15 women, died after consuming spurious liquor in Assam’s Golaghat district on Thursday night. Around 40 labourers, who were taken ill with poisoning symptoms, have been admitted in a critical condition at the Jorhat Medical College Hospital and 17 others at the Golaghat civil hospital on Friday.

The incident took place on Thursday night at the Halmira tea estate in Golaghat.

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, while expressing concern over the deaths, has ordered an inquiry into the tragedy.

Sonowal has instituted a one man inquiry and asked Upper Assam Division Commissioner to inquire into the corollaries of events leading to the deaths.

The modus operandi of the inquiry will be to study the circumstances and other related causative factors and prepare a report and submit the same to the government.

Sonowal also asked minister Topon Kumar Gogoi, MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and MLA Mrinal Saikia to rush to the spot to assess and quell the situation arising out of the death of liquor poisoning.

“The death toll so far is 25, which includes 15 women and 10 men. While 18 people died at the Golaghat Civil Hospital, the rest breathed their last at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital,” said Rathin Bordoloi, Joint Director of Health, Golaghat district.

He said the people were brought to the hospitals with complaints of severe vomiting and chest pain. “We tried our best, but it was too late,” he said.

“A total of 55 people have been referred to the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital for treatment. Seven of them have died while 48 others were still undergoing treatment,” said the doctors at the Jorhat hospital.

(The story was updated to incorporate the quotes, additional details)

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