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Tainted rice wine kills 13 in Cambodia

Thirteen people have been killed and 200 hospitalised in eastern Cambodia’s Kratie province after drinking tainted rice wine and contaminated water.

Homemade rice wine production in Cambodia

According to a report by Xinhua, the incident occurred at Sre Non and Alcoh villages in the Kantuot commune of Chitborey last week after villagers started to show symptoms such as stomach aches, sore throat, fatigue, dizziness, and breathing difficulties after drinking locally made rice wine that is believed to have had, “high methanol levels,” according to a statement released by the Ministry of Health.

The local authorities subsequently cracked down on the production and sales of rice wine in the villages, and also banned the villagers from using suspected contaminated water in the canal.

“I’d like to appeal to people not to drink wine that has no clear source, or produces without proper techniques, especially the wine that is blended with methanol,” the Minister of Health Mam Bunheng said in the statement.

“People should not flow, or discharge waste or chemical substances into lakes, rivers, or canals that are the sources of water for our consumption,” he added.

Earlier last month in Indonesia, more than 60 people died and dozens more were hospitalised after drinking illegal homemade booze mixed with mosquito repellent.

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