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Phichit residents accuse gold mine over chemical leaks

Residents in Phichit's Tab Khlor district yesterday lodged a complaint with police accusing a goldmine operation of discharging chemical leaks that have sickened them for many years.

The leader of the group, Suekanya Theerachartdamrong, said an initial diagnosis by university academics had found that residents had been sickened by leaks of arsenic and manganese, which are carcinogenic and caused them rashes, muscle weakness and cancers in certain cases.

The goldmine covers a 3,000-rai area and was operated in 2001. Suekanya said the mine had also contaminated water and harmed the environment.

Wutthiphong Fangsanoh, a former mine worker, said an examination of his body had detected arsenic in his blood, which proved that the mine had covered up a report, which falsely said the operation had not discharged heavy metals.


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