Spurious rice wine kills two in Cambodia

Phnom Pehn, Nov 23 (IANS) At least two Cambodian villagers died and 44 were hospitalised in eastern Kratie province of Cambodia after they drank spurious rice wine at a funeral, police said on Monday.

Bun Chhoeun, police chief of Sambo district where the incident took place, said the victims, including two women, drank the spurious wine on Friday and fell ill on the following day, Xinhua news agency reported.

“They had the same symptoms: fatigue, dizziness, nausea and eye irritation,” the police officer said, adding that one man died in hospital on Saturday and the other died on Sunday.

According to Bun Chhoeun, as of Monday, two out of the 44 hospitalised villagers were in critical condition.

He said samples of the contaminated wine were still being examined, but doctors suspected the wine “contained high levels of ethanol”.

Last November, six Cambodian men died in the province after drinking home-made rice wine, which, police suspected, was contaminated.

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