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article imagePesticide poisoning kills seven in Thailand

By Ernest Dempsey     May 11, 2011 in Environment
Pesticide poisoning in Thailand has claimed the lives of seven tourists including a British couple, an investigation has revealed.
CRM Digst reported that the dead include 78-year-old George Everitt and his wife Eileen, 73, a British couple from Boston, Lincolnshire while the Daily Mail tells that a Californian woman Mariam Soraya Vorster, aged 33, was also among the dead along with a Canadian man Bill Mah, from Edmonton. All the seven tourists stayed at the Downtown Inn in Chiang Mai at one time or other between January and March this year.
Initially, the deaths were considered cases of food poisoning as a result of exposure to exotic food. But an investigative documentary made by a New Zealand TV team has revealed that the deaths resulted from the toxic effect of pyrophus, an insecticide used mainly for killing bed bugs in Thailand. The hotel rooms had been spared with this chemical, as shown by the documentary.
The recent deaths have reminded of similar deaths a few years ago in Thailand. In 2009, a 27-year-old woman Jill St. Onge, from Seattle (US), died under similar conditions in a hotel room in the Phi Phi Islands, where she went to spend vacation with her fiancé. Another Norwegian woman also died the following night after staying in the same room.
Despite the deaths and the documentary, Chiang Mai’s governor ML Panadda has called the deaths “bad luck”, as reported by the Daily Mail.
More about pesticide poisoning, Thailand poisoning, pesticide related deaths, Chiang Mai deaths, Britain
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