Date PostedMay 25, 2013

Another Tourist Dies of Alcohol Poisoning in Indonesia

Yet another young person has lost their life in Indonesia after drinking methanol laced, home-made alcohol.

In January an Australian teen died after drinking poisoned alcohol while on holiday in Indonesia and now a British women has suffered a similar fate.

The young women was only 23 years old and had her life cut short after she and her boyfriend, together with another backpacker attempted to make their way through the Indonesian jungle, unfortunately they purchased a bottle of what they thought was gin but actually turned out to be methanol.

The 3 backpackers suffered severe complications including blindness and seizures, which are terrible ordinarily but must have been made even worse by the fact that they were so far from home and even worse in a jungle.

The women made it to a hospital where a coma was induced but she unfortunately died shortly after when her family who had flown to Indonesia to be by her side were advised to turn off the life support machines.

An article posted on the Guardian Uk’s website explains:

A British backpacker has died after drinking poisoned alcohol in the Indonesian jungle.

UK backpacker Cheznye Emmons who died in Indonesia after drinking poisoned alcoholCheznye Emmons, 23, had bought a bottle labelled “gin” from a shop, which turned out to be deadly methanol. The beauty therapist from Essex had been trekking with her boyfriend and another man they met while travelling.

All three suffered health problems after drinking the methanol, which can cause kidney failure, blindness, seizures and death. Emmons lost her sight and was taken through the jungle to the nearest eye clinic. She was referred to hospital where she was placed in an induced coma.

Her parents flew to Indonesia where they eventually decided to turn off her life support machine.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in Indonesia and we are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”

Her brother, Michael Emmons, said: “We’re all just in shock. From what we understand, the shop poured the gin out of the original bottle and then replaced it with methanol. It was in the original bottle with the gin label on it. As far as we’re aware, the shop has been shut and there’s a police investigation.”

Home-brewed spirits are common in Indonesia because of an alcohol tax of more than 200%, but methanol is a by-product of poor distillation techniques.


Even though it is unlikely that we will encounter fake alcohol in Oz, we should still be careful when purchasing alcohol, especially when travelling overseas to developing countries, make sure you know what you’re drinking and that you are buying a sealed bottle from a reputable place.

The substances the criminals usually make fake alcohol with is poisonous, including chemicals such as cleaning fluids, nail polish remover, isopropanol and as in this case methanol. People are often fooled by these fakes because they give off the same feeling as normal alcohol at first, but it’s only a matter of time before the effects turn deadly and you end up so many others. 


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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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