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Kenyan Politician Nearly Lights Himself on Fire Destroying ‘Killer Brew’

The governor of a Kenyan county tried to make a point by destroying illegal alcohol. He almost died in the process.

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What’s more dangerous: drinking illegal, highly alcoholic beverages possibly laced with methanol, or setting those drinks on fire in front of a crowd?

William Kabogo, governor of Kenya’s Kiambu County, figured that one out the hard way this week when he tried to make a point about just how badly he wants to eliminate Kenya’s underground alcohol industry by lighting a big pile of alcohol-filled bottles on fire. He seems to have missed the memo that alcohol can be highly flammable, and that minor mistake nearly cost him his life.

His poorly planned demonstration came shortly after a nationwide crackdown on home-brewed beers in Kenya. Last week, the country’s federal government launched a clampdown on the distribution of the beverages, which are blamed for high levels of alcoholism and even impotence in many Kenyan communities.

Locally, the alcohol is known as killer brew. It is sometimes laced with methanol, and according to the BBC, it was responsible for at least 70 deaths in Kiambu last year. The alcohol is especially popular in areas where commercial alcohol is not affordable.

Turns out that once you’re addicted, however, not drinking the alcohol can be just as deadly as drinking it. On Wednesday, Kabogo told reporters that since the crackdown was launched, six men have died from withdrawal, and many others have been hospitalized.

It wouldn’t make for quite as much of a show, but if Kabogo ever has to destroy a whole bunch of the alcohol again, hopefully he’ll consider just pouring it down the drain.

Image Credit: YouTube Screengrab

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