British holidaymaker blinded by spiked drink

British holidaymaker blinded by spiked drink

A British holidaymaker is reported to have been blinded after consuming a drink spiked with anti-freeze at a resort on the island of Zante.

Twenty-year-old Hannah Powell woke up unable to see and with extreme stomach pains the morning after attending a party with friends.

She was airlifted from the Ionian island to the Peloponnese for urgent medical treatment at a state hospital in the city of Rio.

Although Powell initially appeared to be recovering, hospital officials said that she went into a coma for two days. She has also suffered severe kidney failure.

Doctors at the Panagia I Voithia hospital told The Times that Powell was being kept under strict supervision at a special kidney unit until her transfer to the UK for specialist medical treatment.

Her parents, from Ormesby near Middlesbrough, have flown to Greece to be with her. Police said yesterday that an investigation was under way to determine the cause of Powell’s condition.

It is widely believed that she was served a spiked drink, known in Greece as a “bomb”.

Drinks adulterated with cheap spirit — which is often home-made — to cut costs and disguise diluted drinks have been a consistent problem in the southern Mediterranean.

Pathology lecturer, Haralambos Gogos, was quoted as saying that most tampered drinks were spiked with methanol, known for its toxicity and ability to cause blindness when mixed with alcohol.

“It’s a substance normally used to make anti-freeze solvents, ” Dr Gogos said. “It was used in the Second World War as a ballistics propelling mix.”

Greek police raised the issue with local authorities at the start of the holiday season, especially on popular holiday islands, and demanded increased spot-testing at bars and resorts.

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