Galway student dies in Bali after drinking contaminated alcohol

It has been confirmed that the Irish woman who died in Indonesia after drinking contaminated alcohol was a final year engineering student at NUI Galway.

Twenty-five-year old Rachel Craig, from Drogheda was in her final year of bio-medical engineering at the Galway university. While holidaying in Bali, the Louth woman died along with her Dutch partner after drinking local wine, known as arak, which was tainted with methanol.

Head of mechanical and biomedical engineering at NUI Galway, Peter McHugh said: “We are very shocked to hear of Rachel’s death, and want to express our deepest sympathies with the family.

“I taught Rachel personally, and recall her as being a bright friendly student who always did her best. She was well liked by her classmates, and fitted very well into the university, it’s tragic that she was taken before she could realise her full potential.”

The university intends to hold a memorial Mass for Rachel in the autumn when students return.

At least 25 people have been killed and a further 25 are seriously ill after a batch of arak was heavily cut with methanol. Police have arrested the owner and two employees of a small rice wine factory, after finding three 650 gallon drums of arak that contained traces of methanol. A Bali police spokesman said: “We are investigating whether they did it on purpose.”

Symptoms of methanol intoxication include headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and with sufficient large doses, unconsciousness and death. Arak, which is made from fermented rice, palm sap, and corn is a traditional drink for many Balinese and is used in religious ceremonies.


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