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Villagers sick from years-old soda

Eleven villagers hospitalised on Friday after downing cans of years-old soda are recovering at home, Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities confirmed yesterday.

Authorities said the victims were offered the expired soda by monks during a ceremony at Ampor Voan pagoda in Phnom Srok district’s Ponlei commune.

Soon after drinking the beverage, the victims’ stomachs became swollen and they began feeling dizzy and vomiting.

Provincial health department director Keo Sopheaktra said he received the 11 victims – who complained that the consumed beverage had been sitting around for years  – about 11:30pm on Friday.

After two days of treatment, the 11 victims, which included eight children and three seniors, were recovering at home.

“We could not experiment on the poisoned beverage because the victims had drunk it already, so we could not determine what poisonous substance was involved or how much,” Keo Sopheaktra said.

Deputy provincial governor Chum Vannarith said authorities tried to work with the health centre’s officers to educate villagers about proper sanitation standards.

“I think this case . . .  is just a result of carelessness. Therefore, we need to keep educating people,” he said.

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