PHNOM PENH, May 26 (NNN-AKP) – Ten villagers died and 45 others hospitalised, in south-west Cambodia’s Kampot province, after drinking locally made rice wine, that was suspicious of containing a high level of methanol, a provincial health chief said yesterday.
The incident happened in two villages in Kampong Trach district. The victims consumed tainted wine at a funeral of one of their neighbours, on May 21, Nha Bunthan, chief of the Kampot provincial health department, said.
“The victims had similar symptoms, such as eye irritation, chest pain, breathing difficulty, dizziness, cough, headache, fatigue and coma,” he said. “Based on the symptoms and the definition of methanol poisoning, it’s initially concluded that they died or became ill because they drank rice wine or herbal wine containing high levels of methanol.”
Bunthan said, the toxic wine’s samples have been taken for lab testing in the capital, Phnom Penh, and the results are not yet available.
He said, rice wine distilleries in the district had been shut down, as retailers in the area were advised to stop selling rice wine or herbal wine temporarily.
It was the second such incident in recent days.
On May 20, the Ministry of Health reported that methanol-laced rice wine left 12 people dead and 19 others hospitalised, in the southern Kandal province, and 13 people, two rice wine producers and 11 retailers, had been arrested and sent to court for prosecution.
Rice wine is popular in rural areas in Cambodia, due to its cheap price.– NNN-AKP
Source: NAM News Network