Kratie’s Kantout commune police chief, Captain Phon Phea, announced that five villagers died and 28 villagers are ill and receiving medical care at the provincial hospital and the local health centre. It is suspected that they drank contaminated water, but the exact cause is yet to be determined.
On Thursday, May 3, villagers began complaining of exhaustion, dizziness, and nausea and vomiting.
“We [the police] have not found a cause for these deaths and the illness, nor have the doctors. The doctors are investigating,” the captain said.
He stated that the heavy rains of the past few days most likely washed pesticides and/or herbicides and/or other toxins into creeks, rivers and ponds. These are the sources of drinking water for the villagers, and they generally do not boil the water before consumption.