4 dead after drinking coconut wine in Laguna

Photo: ABS-CBN News
Photo: ABS-CBN News

Four men died after drinking lambanog (coconut wine) in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, a village official said today.

ABS-CBN News reported that five men drank the wine in the village of Pooc on Saturday. The next day, they complained that their stomachs hurt and were rushed to the hospital where the four died one by one, village official Jimmy Digamon said.

Lambanog is a local wine made from the fermented sap of a coconut tree and it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Food website Pepper.ph wrote that its alcohol content is around 40 – 45 percent. In comparison, the alcohol content of beer is only around five to seven percent.

Radyo Inquirer stated that the first victim was Gonzalo La Torre who died on Sunday. The other fatalities were identified as Severino Callos, Armino Caramay, and Roy Basbas.

Only one of the five men survived and is still recovering in the hospital, ABS-CBN News stated. The coconut wine was from a store in the Quezon province, Digamon told radio station DZMM. Authorities also got a sample of the coconut wine to investigate it.

In a separate incident, four tricycle drivers from the Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) of San Bartolome also died in Novaliches, Quezon City on Tuesday after drinking lambanog in a drinking session that started on Friday and lasted until Sunday, Radyo Inquirer reported.

Two other tricycle drivers are still in critical condition, while 14 other drivers are being observed at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, the report added.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said told GMA News yesterday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should conduct a probe on the safety of drinking coconut wine after the recent deaths.

He added that alcohol poisoning is possible if the alcohol content of  a drink is high. Excessive drinking is hazardous to one’s health as it may affect the brain, liver, and pancreas.

Aside from that, he said getting drunk can lead to fatal accidents.

Duque also reminded the public to drink moderately during the holiday season.

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