Siem Reap police said yesterday that a military officer died while another two were hospitalised after eating poisonous puffer fish in the province of Siem Reap.
Sok Chamoeun, deputy chief of Siem Reap city police, identified the deceased as Captain Sao Kimley, 44, based in the Siem Reap international airport, while the hospitalised were identified as Second Lieutenant Ngor Nga, 45 and Lieutenant Sanh Song, 45.
Mr Chamoeun said yesterday that the three victims accumulated about 20 puffer fish from a nearby pond. The military men then fried and ate the fish at their military camp.
“After eating the fish, they started vomiting due to the poison,” he said. “Captain Kimly ate the most fish and he died at the scene. The other two victims were seriously injured but were rescued by medics and then sent to hospital for treatment.”
The body of Cap Kimly has been handed over to his family for burial while the other two are receiving medical treatment at the provincial referral hospital.
Dr Ly Socheath at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh said that puffer fish was dangerous because of its poison.
Every year, 20 Cambodians die from puffer fish poisoning. People have resorted to eating the fish when there is nothing else to eat.
“I would like to appeal to the people of Cambodia to stop eating puffer fish,” said Dr Socheath.