Eight people were injured in two separate explosions on Tuesday in Pailin province’s Pailin city and Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Tralach district.
Lieutenant Colonel Yem Sarith, Pailin city police chief, yesterday said the explosion occurred in a home in Tuol Lvea commune that stored chemical fertilizers used for longan plants. Four people were injured in the explosion, he said.
“The explosion occurred when the victims mixed two to three kinds of chemical fertilizers together in a container before closing it, which caused a chemical reaction that led to the explosion,” Lt Col Sarith said. “Generally, making Chisan [chemical fertilizers] is done by mixing it in a container and using a stick to stir it continuously. However, the victims stirred it in a container and closed the lid, which caused it to explode.”
Lt Col Sarith identified the victims as Thim Rim, 41, who suffered serious injuries, and Uth Sovann, 41, Khat Salen, 14, and Thim Ratana, 8, who suffered minor injuries. They are currently receiving treatment at Pailin Provincial Referral Hospital and Battambang Hospital.
Lt Col Sarith appealed to all citizens to be vigilant when mixing chemical fertilizers for spraying crops and practice proper techniques, which can be taught by officials and experts.
In a separate case in Kampong Chhnang province, Kampong Tralach district police chief Colonel Norn Sinath said an explosion occurred at around 6pm on Tuesday in O’Russei commune’s Chrok Romeat village, injuring Math Soem, 55, Mat Amin, 32, Pin, 28, and Ay Ny, 15.
Col Sinath noted that gas tanks exploded when the victims were transferring gas from a large tank to smaller ones to sell.
“Before the incident occurred, the man and the woman who owned the house opened a large gas tank to transfer into small cans to sell,” he said. “Gas was leaking from the large tank and the man shouted for help, leading to two others running to help him, when suddenly the small cans exploded and the flame spread to the 10-kilogram gas tank, injuring the victims.”
In June, Heng Ratana, director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, had asked relevant institutions and authorities to strengthen measures on the permission to store and sell gas in the homes of citizens, noting that gas explosions pose similar risks to humans as a bomb explosion.