CHENGDU, China - A two-year-old boy in south-western China lost consciousness and died after he drank cups of baijiu - a hard liquor with an alcohol content of about 40 per cent to 60 per cent - at the urging of his father's friends at a meal, the local media reported.
The three friends of the toddler's father, who was at the scene, have been arrested and are being investigated for causing death by negligence, according to the Chengdu Commercial Daily.
The incident happened last week when the boy's father, surnamed Wang, took him along to a friend's house in Panzhihua city in Sichuan province for a meal, the Chengdu daily reported.
The friend, surnamed Jia, also invited two other friends.
After drinking a few cups of baijiu, Mr Wang felt tipsy and retired to a room to rest, leaving his son with his friends.
The toddler drank only tea at first. But when the tea ran out, he reached for his father's cup, which still contained baijiu.
The two other guests wanted to stop him, but Mr Jia was amused and urged him to down the alcohol.
The boy then drank a few more cups as he toasted the men, as Chinese adults do while dining.
When he had drunk about 100ml of baijiu, he lost consciousness and looked as if he was asleep.
But the friends did not inform his father of what had happened until hours later, when the boy failed to wake up and his limbs felt hot to the touch.
He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead from deprivation of oxygen and blood in the brain, resulting from acute alcoholism.
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