Banteay Meanchey provincial police said yesterday that a large explosion that killed three people and injured three others was caused by fireworks, quashing rumours of an act of terrorism.
Provincial police chief Ath Khem said a pick-up truck was transporting a large quantity of fireworks from the province to Phnom Penh on Friday.
A spark ignited the fireworks and powder to create a large explosion, killing the three people in the truck, injuring two people riding a motorbike nearby and one person in a house nearby.
Social media users spent the weekend circulating rumours that it might have been an act of terrorism.
“It was not an act of terrorism,” said Mr Khem. “But we are still investigating why the fireworks exploded.”
According to a National Police report, the explosion also damaged three homes and four motorbikes in Monkol Borei district along National Road 5.
Sith Los, provincial deputy police chief, said that the explosion did not involve terrorism or explosives, but rather fireworks.
“The explosion could be caused from two reasons,” he said. “We suspect the people transporting the fireworks were negligent and did not load them on the truck safely, or we also suspect that the truck may have had an electrical spark that ignited the fireworks.”
Mr Los said that the three men in the pick-up truck died immediately from the blast, while the other three people injured have recovered.
Mr Los added that police were continuing to investigate.