Health authorities and prosecutors in Honduras are investigating whether the deaths of 21 people over the past two weeks were due to tainted liquor.
Aurora Cubas, a prosecutor in the central city of Siguatepeque, where most of the deaths have been registered, told reporters that in coordination with municipal and public health authorities the cause of the deaths was being investigated.
Among other things, authorities have seized more than 800 cases of two brands of hard liquor produced in central Honduras and have prohibited its sale while the investigation is being pursued.
About 30 people have been poisoned and of those 21 have died in Siguatepeque and other nearby communities, media outlets have reported.
Some of the victims were sent to hospitals in Comayagua and Tegucigalpa while others are receiving medical care in Siguatepeque.
The investigation to determine if the alcohol has been mixed with a poisonous substance is being headed up by the Attorney General's Office, which has retained an expert to aid in the probe.
Seven of the victims have died in recent days at the Santa Teresa Hospital.
One of the people poisoned said he got sick after downing several drinks of liquor last Friday.
Speaking from his room at Tegucigalpa Teaching Hospital, the patient said he is recovering his sight but that he still feels "weak."
Siguatepeque authorities are hoping that by Friday the AG's office will report if its has found any adulterated alcohol and if that was the cause of the 21 fatalities.