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Police pin Siem Reap temple collapse on manager

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Rescue workers clear rubble as they look for survivors. KT/Tep Sony

A construction supervisor is being blamed for negligence by police over the collapse of a temple under construction at Prasat Koukchak pagoda in Siem Reap province on December 2nd that killed three people and injured 16 others.

Brigadier General Phoeung Chendareth, deputy chief of provincial police, yesterday said Yat Phoeung, 52, the construction supervisor, is accused of negligence over the collapse.

“We are accusing the construction supervisor as the person responsible for the collapse,” Brig Gen Chendareth said. “However, no court has charged him. We have just accused the construction supervisor and sent a case file to the court for court officials to evaluate.”

Yin Srang, provincial court spokesman, said the case is in the hands of the court, but the provincial prosecutor has yet to review it.

Injured construction workers recover in a clinic after the collapse. KT/Tep Sony

“The case file is already at the administration office and the administration office is preparing to assign it to the prosecutor, who will proceed with the investigation,” Mr Srang said.

Phlong Chantha, 25, a construction worker who sustained injuries during the collapse, said he has been recovering for a few weeks, but is still hurt.

Mr Chantha said he was in hospital last week and hopes justice will be provided to those who were killed and injured during the collapse.

“It was a technical fault in construction as the supervisor left wooden scaffolding outside for seven to eight months before pouring concrete to build the roof,” he said. “The scaffolding might have decayed. Another thing is that steel bars were not properly installed for the pillars.”

“I think it was a technical fault,” he added. “I just want to have justice in this case.”

In June, a seven-storey building under construction in Sihanoukville collapsed, killing 28 workers and injuring 26.

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