Kirsty McKie, 38, was a UK national who lived and worked in Bali and ran a successful business as a talented ceramicist.
But after consuming the toxic substance on July 22 last year she soon became ill and was rushed to hospital, where she died from methanol poisoning two days later.
Following an inquest into her death, Coroner Alison Mutch has urged the UK government to launch a publicity campaign to warn Britons of the dangers of cheap alcohol drinks which can be found in Indonesia and parts of south-east Asia.
Methanol is a chemically simple version of alcohol that can often be found in bootleg spirits. It can cause nausea, blindness, and death if consumed.
Mutch, the Senior Coroner for Greater Manchester South, concluded the inquest in McKie’s death in January, and has now published her findings in a report aimed at preventing future deaths.
A copy of the report has also been forwarded to foreign secretary James Cleverley for further consideration.
‘On 22nd July 2022 [Kirsty] consumed what she believed to be alcohol,’ the report read.
‘The following day she felt unwell.’
‘She went to a hospital in Bali where she deteriorated and died on the 24th July 2022 despite treatment.
‘Post-mortem examination included toxicology. It was found that she had methanol in her system which had caused her death.
‘Methanol is not meant for human consumption. She had inadvertently consumed methanol believing she had consumed alcohol. The methanol had been sold as being alcohol fit for human consumption when it was not and caused her death.’
Elsewhere in the report Mutch noted the poor levels of knowledge relayed to the British public about this issue.
She suggested the government follow Australia’s example, which had launched a public health campaign aimed at educating tourists travelling in areas of Asia such as Bali about the dangers of cheap local spirits.
‘Knowledge of the problem amongst the expatriate/tourist community was very low despite the increase in the problem and the catastrophic consequences of methanol consumption,’ she added.
‘The UK Government publicising information about the risk of methanol being used in local spirits, steps that could be taken by UK nationals travelling to reduce the risk and warning signs of methanol toxicity would help to reduce the chance of others dying in the way in which Kirsty McKie died.’
In the wake of McKie’s death, friends held a fundraiser in her honor for an animal welfare charity, and paid tribute to a ‘truly remarkable and unforgettable woman who left us too soon’.