Three people have died and 60 others hospitalised since Thursday, after possibly drinking tainted rice wine in Snuol commune in Kratie province’s Snuol district, an announcement from the Ministry of Health and local officials said.
Snuol commune chief Vann Doeun said a woman was drinking rice wine while working in a cassava field on Thursday when she fell ill and died later at her home.
Relating the incident, he said during preparations for her funeral and at the funeral itself two others died and 57 got sick, while three others fell ill on Saturday. All 60 who got sick were rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
“No one knew [the cause of death of the first victim] at first. So while people were making her funeral arrangements, someone close to her brought her family 20 litres of wine, which caused two others to die,” Doeun said.
Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann said of the 60 who were hospitalised, 11 are in serious condition in the capital’s Calmette Hospital.
He said that despite the fact laboratory testing of the wine is yet to be completed, those who died and got sick experienced symptoms that point to it as the culprit.