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1 Dead, 3 Hurt in Apparent Food Poisoning

A five-year-old boy died and three others were sickened in a possible case of food poisoning in Preah Vihear province, health officials said Friday.

Thouern Tiep, 5, died after he was taken to the commune health center with two brothers and an aunt Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The four had eaten noodles and candy together at a small shop in Sa Em village, Kantout commune, Choam Khsant district, near the Thai border.

None of the goods that were eaten came from Thailand, said Sap Bunthouern, Kantout's second deputy commune chief.

Brothers Youert Em, 4, and Youert Yim, 8, and the aunt, Ron Moa, 13, left the health center and returned to their homes late Thursday, Sap Bunthouern said.

Phann Ron, the 49-year-old grandfather of the deceased, said his grandson had played in the dirt before Ron Moa gave the children money for noodles and candy.

Two hours later, they all fell ill, he said.

Their faces took on a purple hue, and they were all taken to a traditional healer for coining.

The treatment appeared not to work, so the family called the health center to take them for further treatment.

By then it was too late, Phann Ron said. Thouern Tiep died three hours later.

Preah Vihear Health Director Kouy Bun Thany said authorities took samples of the noodles and candy, as well as blood of the three living patients, for laboratory tests in Phnom Penh.