Taps in an apartment building in India began spewing a mix of beer, rum and brandy, leaving perplexed residents without a clean source of water.
When they contacted the local authorities, residents were told that it was actually a mistake made by officials who had dumped 6,000 litres of confiscated booze.
The seized alcohol had been disposed of in a pit, but leaked into a well through the soil, contaminating the water that supplies 18 apartments in the Thrissur district, in the Indian state Kerala.
The problem was discovered when the water motor was switched on and began pumping out a brown liquid from taps.
When residents checked the tank, they discovered an oil-like film sitting on top of the water, accompanied by a horrible smell.
‘We were so shocked,’ said Joshy Malyiekkal, owner of the Solomon’s Avenue Apartments complex, to BBC Hindi.
Malyiekkal said that due to the contamination, residents did not have a source of clean water to drink or wash. ‘The children couldn’t go to school and even their parents couldn’t go to work.’
After they received complaints from the residents, officials have taken steps to rectify their mistake, but the process of cleaning the well could take up to a month.
During that time, residents will have to rely on deliveries of clean water from the authorities, who have provided 5000 litres of water so far, which Maliakkal says is not enough.
‘The alcohol had come from the nearby Rachna Bar and Hotel, and Maliakkal said that workers had been seen digging a hole and disposing of the alcohol the day before their unfortunate discovery.
‘The liquor had expired and was kept there since 2014 so we dug a trench on the premises to dispose of the liquor,’ a local official told CNN.
‘Unfortunately, it seeped into the nearby well and polluted the water stream of the nearby apartment complex.’
In 2014, Kerala became a dry state and the sale of alcohol was prohibited, but the rules were relaxed on 2017. The state has the highest level of alcohol consumption in the country.