PHNOM PENH, May 7 (Xinhua) -- A laboratory result released on Monday evening found that both tainted rice wine and water had left 13 villagers dead and 234 others hospitalized in eastern Cambodia's Kratie province.
Villagers at Sre Non and Aloch villages in Kantuot commune of Chitborey district have fallen ill and subsequently died since last week after reportedly drinking locally-made rice wine and water collected from a canal.
According to the lab result released by the Institute of Standards of Cambodia, the tainted rice wine contained the methanol level of 11.22 percent, which was much higher than the safe level of 0.15 percent.
The polluted water contained the chromium level of 173 micrograms in a liter of water, which was much higher than the maximum level of 100 micrograms in a liter of water, the report said, adding that the water also contained nitrate levels between 7 and 23 milligrams in a liter of water, which was higher than the allowed level of 3 milligrams in a liter of water.
After the incident, officials had taken the samples of suspected rice wine and polluted water in the two villages for examination and found that the rice wine contained high methanol level that caused poison, while the water contained high level of chromium and nitrate.