A children's game turned to tragedy in Prey Veng province earlier this week, when three boys jumped into a canal after losing a round of rock-paper-scissors and drowned.
The three boys – Om Tharo, 11, Chhean Savin, 8, and Tong To, 7 were playing with a fourth boy on Tuesday by the Prek Takov canal, near their village in Smaong Khang Choeung commune, Komchay Mear district.
According to Seang Sokphan, Tean Pleung village chief, the boys were all from separate poor families in the village and one was an orphan.
“They played a game of rock-paper-scissors at the canal. Those who lost had to jump in the water,” Sokphan said.
“The three who lost counted ‘one, two, three’, then all three jumped into the canal and died. The one who didn’t jump ran back home to tell their mothers.”
“At about noon, when villagers arrived at the canal, they were already dead in the water.”
Sophan said the canal was about 1.5 metres deep and it was the first time the boys had been to play there.
The local authorities reached out to the local Red Cross for help and support for funeral ceremonies.