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Three Die, Four Injured from Antifreeze Punch

September 3, 1986

BARROW, Alaska (AP) _ Three people attending a party were killed and four others were seriously injured when they drank punch containing poisonous methyl alcohol, North Slope Borough officials said.

The victims appeared to have been attending a party late Sunday or early Monday at the Eskimo village of Wainwright, on Alaska’s northern coast southwest of Barrow, when they drank the methanol, commonly found in antifreeze and other products, said borough spokesman Tony Kesler.

″A drum washed up on the beach, and subsequently it was taken to a yard,″ he said. ″The owner of the yard went hunting or camping and somebody accessed the barrel and drew some of its contents. They proceeded to mix it into a punch or fruit juice at a party.″

The barrel apparently was unmarked, Kesler said.

The Poison Control Center at Providence Hospital in Anchorage said as little as a tablespoon of methanol is enough to kill.

″It has a direct toxic effect on the kidneys and also the brain,″ said Dr. Tom Nighswander of the Alaska Native Medical Center.

One of the four taken to hospitals in Anchorage, a juvenile girl, remained in critical condition Wednesday, Nighswander said. ″That’s not a good sign,″ he said. The other three were in stable condition.

Kesler identified the dead as Tommy Upicksoun, 21, Eddie Ungudruk, 33, and a juvenile.

Injured were James Ahmaogak, 26, Larry Bodkin, 39, and two juveniles.

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