Four military officers and a woman living on the island of Koh Rong Samloem were sent for emergency treatment at the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Referral Hospital, two in serious condition, after they consumed what are believed to be highly toxic mushrooms on Tuesday, police said.
According to Pat Monyroth, the chief of immigration police on the island who helped rush the five to hospital, soldiers So Chantha, 47; Mao Mach, 35; Kem Sopheak, 46; and Saom Chanrady, 35, along with Chanrady’s wife, Seng Samon, 32, began experiencing dizziness and vomiting to varying degrees after consuming the mushrooms, which were picked in the wild.
“Among the five, two were unconscious and in serious condition, which required us to send them to the emergency room”.
Chanrady, who only suffered mild poisoning, reportedly told police that he and the others had picked the mushrooms, as they had in the past, and cooked them for lunch, falling ill about half an hour after they finished.
“That was not the first time that we ate those mixed-type mushrooms. We had eaten them three days before but we were all right,” Chanrady was quoted in a police report as saying.
Dr Seng Nong of the referral hospital said it was lucky that they received medical treatment quickly.
“They were vomiting so much that nothing remained for doctors to use as a sample for medical research. Also, our doctors do not have a laboratory for testing. We can assume that they were poisoned by the mushrooms, but we do not know ,” he said, adding that the “victims are feeling better now”.