Autopsies for Korean Students

By Jung Min-ho/Korea Times

Korea will perform autopsies on two Korean students who died in Cambodia last week after doctors there failed to determine the cause of their deaths.

According to the Konyang University Monday, the National Forensic Service will carry out autopsies on the bodies when they are brought home from Phnom Penh.

The two women, who went to Cambodia to do voluntary work, were taken to a local hospital on Jan. 8 after suffering from acute stomach pains. After receiving treatment, they returned to their hotel the next day, only for the symptoms to return. One student died that night and the other died on Jan. 10.

Dr. Hwang Won-min at Konyang University Hospital told reporters Saturday that it was still unclear what caused their stomach pains.

“Based on the symptoms they showed, we believe it was an infectious disease,” Hwang said. “We carried out a blood culture test with samples to check if it was a typhoid epidemic, but the result came out negative … We need additional tests and time to determine the cause.”

The immediate cause of their deaths was heart failure, according to medical records from the Cambodian hospital.

The day before the students started feeling sick, they and two other students had pizza and beer at a restaurant near their hotel. But the two others had no health problems.

Sixteen students and three school officials (including two professors) went to Cambodia on Jan. 6 to help residents build facilities and equipment.

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