71 people have died in the Russian city of Irkutsk after drinking bath essence containing toxic alcohol, authorities said Thursday.
Russia's Investigative Committee previously said in a statement 117 people had sought medical attention over the weekend after having drunk the liquid labelled as hawthorn-scented bath essence, 71 of whom died.
Authorities said the product bore a label warning it is unsuitable for consumption, but the lotion was nonetheless "consumed like alcohol."
The product contained methanol, a toxic substance used in antifreeze, investigators said.
Two people have been detained over the deaths, investigators said, and searches are being conducted at the markets where the deadly product was being sold.
Responding to the tragedy, the Russian government called for tighter regulation of the alcohol market.
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the mass poisoning as a "terrible tragedy," adding that the president was being briefed about the situation.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a Cabinet meeting that authorities need to quickly ban such substances, saying their makers have been increasingly competing with legal alcohol producers.
"It's an outrage, and we need to put an end to this," he said in televised remarks.
Cheap perfumes and facial toners containing alcohol are sold without the trading restrictions on alcoholic drinks, while those who buy them to drink are the most socially disadvantaged.
The sale of lotions and tinctures containing alcohol has been on the rise in recent years as Russia has plunged into recession under the impact of Western sanctions and a slide in oil prices. Poisonings caused by cheap surrogate alcohol are a regular occurrence.
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