Cape Town – Authorities in Morocco confirmed on Friday that 19 people had died of alcohol poisoning in the northern Moroccan city of Ksar El Kebir.
Police arrested a 48-year-old man with a criminal record in connection with the incident, while his son was also arrested in connection to the case, the Directorate General of National Security (DGSN) said in a statement.
Local media reported that security services also seized 49 litres of adulterated alcohol, and the two arrested suspects are alleged to have illicitly manufactured the beverage and sold it in their store.
Authorities say that an investigation is still under way to determine the circumstances of the case.
A nurse at Ksar El Kebir told Moroccan media that the victims who checked in at the hospital were suffering from vomiting, stomach cramps and headaches.
According to comments from a local health ministry to reporters, nine bodies were initially found at the hospital on Tuesday, and the death toll rose to 19 on Wednesday, Morocco reported.
About 30 people were taken to hospital in critical condition, with two still in intensive care, AFP said on Thursday.
According to Moroccan law, the sale of alcohol to Muslims is prohibited, but it is easily found in bars, restaurants and stores that discreetly offer it for sale, according to local media.