Police in Takeo province said a man was killed by a cargo train yesterday after he fell asleep on the tracks while listening to the radio and waiting for water to be pumped out of a nearby pond.
A Bati district police officer yesterday identified the victim as Meas Chea, 66, whom he said likely fell asleep on the train tracks while listening to the radio, preventing him from hearing the oncoming train.
“He was sleeping on the train tracks,” the officer said. “When we spoke to his relatives, they said that he went to pump water out of a pond to catch fish. The water in the pond was not receding quickly, so he went to sleep on the train tracks while listening to the radio.”
“According to my conclusion, he was probably asleep and could not hear the sound of the train because he was also listening to the radio,” he added. “It happened at 1am. The train was carrying goods from Preah Sihanouk province to Phnom Penh.”
A funeral service began yesterday for the victim, who was originally from Battambang province, in Bati district, the officer noted.
“After his relatives did not see him return from the pond, they went looking around for him and then they found him on the train tracks,” the officer said. “The body was handed over to his family to hold a funeral in Bati district.”
John Guiry, CEO of Royal Railway, said his company was carrying out its own investigation into the incident to determine if the man was truly killed by the train.
“Many people say it was the train but we don’t know for sure,” he said. “We got people down there investigating it to find out what happened.”
“We need to determine whether or not it happened that way,” he added. “Every incident needs to be investigated.”
Mr Guiry has previously said that it is difficult for train conductors to differentiate between rubbish bags and people sleeping on the tracks.