DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) _ At least 30 people died and 50 became seriously ill Friday after drinking tainted liquor in eastern Bangladesh, police and hospital doctors said.

The victims bought cheap whiskey mixed with methyl alcohol from shops in Narsingdi town, 25 miles from Dhaka, a police officer said. Methyl alcohol is poisonous to humans in large quantities.

Most of victims were industrial workers who drank liquor Thursday night on the eve of the Sabbath, which begins on Friday in predominantly Muslim Bangladesh.

Twenty-three people died in hospitals in Narsingdi and Dhaka, while seven died at home. Two liquor sellers were among the dead, police said.

The death toll could rise as some of those in hospitals are in critical condition, doctors said.

Police said they arrested four people for unlawful selling of liquor.

Open sale of alcohol is prohibited in Bangladesh. Homemade liquor, however, is easily available. Many people die from drinking tainted liquor every year in Bangladesh.