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Mondulkiri man dies in explosion

Pech Sotheary and Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Family and friends hold a funeral for Pyeul Pleun in Mondulkiri province. O’Raing District Police

An indigenous Bunong man in Mondulkiri province died yesterday as he was processing gunpowder into an explosive meant for blastfishing.

Captain Khai Vannak identified the man as 33-year-old Pyeul Pleun who lived in his home in Pou Zam village in O’Raing district’s Sen Monorom commune.

Cap Vannak said Mr Pleun had dismantled 30 firecrackers and was pounding gunpowder with a knife when an explosion happened.

“The victim was pounding those firecrackers with the hilt of his knife, which was wrong,” Cap Vannak said. “When the explosion happened, the blade of the knife hit his eye, causing him to die in his home.”

He noted Mr Pleun sustained injuries to his hand, arm and face.

Cap Vannak said local authorities previously told villagers not to sell explosives, including firecrackers in the area, but the villagers did not listen and the trade continued.

In March, another  Bunong man died in an explosion as he was processing gunpowder in Ratanakiri province. He was identified as 25-year-old Romas Thhan.

In other news, a sleeping resort staffer was killed yesterday in a fire that engulfed his dorm room in Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district.

The National Police’s fire department on Facebook identified the victim as 29-year-old Chheng Malai, a staffer for Hà Tiên Vegas Entertainment Resort.

Major General Mao Chanmathurith, chief of provincial police, said the fire started in Mr Malai’s room at about 5.30am. Mr Malai had lived in a dorm room provided by the resort. The room is located in Russei Srok Khang Lech commune.

“One person died in the fire,” Maj Gen Chanmathurith said. “We looked at CCTV footage showing [Mr Malai] going to bed at about 2.30am on Wednesday.”

“The fire was caused by an electrical fault,” he added, noting it took one fire truck and more than 60 fire extinguishers to put out the fire. “The damage was not huge.”

Maj Gen Chanmathurith said the body of the victim was handed to his family.

Major General Neth Vantha, director of the Interior Ministry’s fire department, said 500 fires broke out so far in the Kingdom this year causing the deaths of 10 people and damaging 300 homes and 300 market stalls.

According to a fire department report, 17 people died and 52 were injured in 534 fires in 2018, an increase when compared to 2017 when 514 fires killed 22 and injured 128.

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