Alcohol Poisoning Death Toll Rises 11 in Pursat province

Photo show local people who are hospitalized after drinking suspected alcohol poisoning in Pursat province. Photo from Pursat Provincial Administration Facebook Page.

Tests show high levels of methanol in wine

PHNOM PENH--Two wine producers have been sent to court in connection with tainted wine which killed 11 people and led to 100 being treated in hospital.

Thirteen people remained in hospital on June 4 as Pursat provincial authorities revealed that the wine contained between 9.5 and 15 percent methanol. It was consumed on May 30 and at a funeral on June 1 in Krakor district.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that the deaths were due to alcohol poisoning. Chan Sokha, director of Pursat Provincial  Department of Health said the  13 patients were being treated at the Provincial Referral Hospital.

Krakor District Police Inspectorate officer Colonel Em Run said authorities had sent the winemakers to court in line with legal procedures.

Other sellers have been ordered to stop selling that wine, he said.

The ministry has ordered authorities in each province to close down wholesalers and retailers who do not produce wine to the correct technical standards. It advised people to avoid alcohol that is not produced correctly.

In May and June 2021, 35 people died of alcohol poisoning in the provinces of Kampot, Kandal and Pursat.

The Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General said that from 2016 to 2020, there were four alcohol poisoning cases in Pursat, Kratie, Banteay Meanchey and  Kampong Chhnang, resulting in 28 deaths and many more victims.

Additional reporting by Phoung Vantha

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