41 Pakistani drug addicts die after drinking toxic cough syrup

GUJRANWALA, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) -- More than 40 people, the majority of them drug addicts, have died in eastern Pakistan after drinking a cough syrup believed to have been toxic, doctors and police officials said on Saturday. A number of other people remain in a critical condition.

Health officials said as many as 87 people in the industrial city of Gujranwala, which is located in the country's eastern Punjab province, earlier this week consumed a locally-manufactured cough syrup to get high. The addicts, some of whom are from villages near Gujranwala, soon began feeling violently ill.

The death toll increased to at least 41 on Saturday after nearly two dozen people died overnight, and as many as 46 people are still being treated at area hospitals. A number of the victims remained in a critical condition on early Sunday morning, and it is feared the death toll will increase.

The victims were said to be between 20 to 40 years old, and nearly all of them are believed to have had a history of drug addiction. Samples of the cough syrup, which is known as 'Tyno', have been sent for laboratory testing to determine why the substance was so deadly.

Last month, at least 23 drug addicts died in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore after they also drank a cough syrup to get high. Officials at the time said the cough syrup had been adulterated, causing it to become extremely toxic. The owners of three nearby drug stores were taken into custody.

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