An anti-tank mine exploded after demining experts drove a machine over it in a cassava plantation in Banteay Meanchey’s Malai district yesterday, but no one was injured.
Heng Ratana, Cambodian Mine Action Centre director-general, posted on his Facebook page that a demining machine was operating in landmine field in the district when it struck an anti-tank mine, causing an explosion that damaged the machine, but left the driver unscathed.
He added that the owners of the cassava plantation were even luckier than the machine driver since they could have stepped on mines prior to CMAC coming to clear the area.
Mr Ratana could not be reached for further comment.
Phat Phearak, chief secretariat of CMAC, said the deminers were there to clear landmines and were not expecting to come across anti-tank mines.
“Our officers did not know that there were anti-tank mines down there. They were using the machine which is for clearing anti-personnel mines only. If they had known there were anti-tank mines, they would not have driven on the land,” he said.