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Pattaya Daily News

28 April 2011 :: 14:04:28 pm 53314

Seven Mystery Deaths In Chiang Mai Since January

Seven people have died in mysterious circumstances in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand since January this year, with authorities claiming that victims have been poisoned by “toxic seaweed”.
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The last victims, a British couple, a New Zealand woman and a Thai tour guide all died within 16 days in connecting rooms at the three-star Downtown Inn. All four are believed to have died in similar circumstances while three more cases have been speculatively linked to the phenomenon after displaying similar symptoms.
Thai police said there was no evidence that the deaths were linked, while health authorities believed at least two cases were caused by food poisoning.

The Governor of Chiang Mai, Panadda Disakul stated the deaths were simply a coincidence, according to news reports.

Richard Carter, the father of the deceased 23-year-old New Zealander, Sarah Carter, believes the deaths are linked and said the investigation into his daughter’s death is “narrow-minded.”Sarah Carter had been on a three-week holiday when she was taken to hospital with symptoms of food poisoning. She had died from myocarditis on 6 February within hours of hospital admission.

13 days later, George and Eileen Everitt of Boston, Lincolnshire were found dead in their room, which was located below Ms Carter’s. According to Thai authorities, the British couple had suffered heart attacks, which were thought to be result of myocarditis.

“They had no history of heart problems or any other problems,” the couple’s son, Stephen Everitt, told the New Zealand Herald.

“They were active and healthy for their age and it has come as a total shock. And now they want me to believe they had heart attacks at the same time. It doesn’t make sense”, Stephen added.

Earlier on 3 February, a Thai woman, Waraporn Pungmahisiranon, 47, was the first to die in her hotel room. Alarmed guests reported witnessing a body wrapped in a sheet being carried down the hotel’s fire escape.

Other three speculated linked cases include Canadian Bill Mah, 59, who died of sudden severe chest pains. Bill did not stay at the Downtown Inn but he did use the hotel’s pool.
An American woman, Soraya Pandola, 33, died on 11 January after admitted to hospital for food poisoning. A French woman is also believed to have died in similar circumstances.

According to Chiang Mai health authorities, “eating toxic seaweed” from a nearby night market may have triggered Ms Carter’s death, as traces of the Coxsackie B virus were found in samples taken from her body. The virus can cause stomach upsets and in rare cases, heart damage.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, has called for “closer scrutiny” of Ms Carter’s death, prompting Thai authorities to ask the World Health Organisation for help with further tests.
But Britain’s Foreign Office said they have no plans to call for further inquiries into the Everitts’ deaths.

The Downtown Inn and the market remain open after brief police examinations.
Vinai Julsiri, the acting manager of the Downtown Inn, said that speculation surrounding the deaths had been “really bad for business”.
He added, “There is nothing wrong or dangerous in our hotel.”

Chiang Mai attracts up to two million tourists each year.
In March, Thailand’s Bureau of Epidemiology shows that over 19,000 people were treated for food poisoning in the previous two months.
Thailand’s Department for Disease Control says “threats to the general public remain low or minimal”.

Raporte By: independen

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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