Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Building accident leads to 7 arrests

Building accident leads to 7 arrests

The site where a woman died from a metal bar falling from a construction site near the Olympic Stadium on Sunday
The site where a woman died from a metal bar falling from a construction site near the Olympic Stadium on Sunday. Two managers from the site were detained by district authorities. Vireak Mai

Building accident leads to 7 arrests

Two managers and five workers from a construction company building the $400 million Olympia City development in Phnom Penh were arrested yesterday following an accident that killed a woman on Sunday, police said.

Puth Vanny, 48, was riding a motorbike with her son and his fiancee past the site near the Olympic Stadium when a metal object fell and killed her.

The managers – one Cambodian and one Chinese – and the workers were questioned after the incident, according to a Prampi Makara district police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“After interrogation, they were arrested [yesterday],” he said.

The arrest followed a press briefing in the morning by National Police Chief General Neth Savoeun, in which he called for those responsible for Vanny’s death to be held accountable.

The Olympia City development is owned by the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC), which when contacted on Sunday said it was aware of the incident but declined to comment further.

District police said yesterday that they believed Cana Sino Construction Corporation (CSCC) was working on the project as a subcontractor. Neither the OCIC or CSCC would comment yesterday.

Vanny’s family filed a complaint to district authorities yesterday, demanding $100,000 compensation.

Mao Veasna, 27, her son, said representatives from the OCIC and CSCC had failed to meet him yesterday.

“They should come and negotiate with me,” Veasna said.

Vat Sot, 56, a vendor across the street from where Vanny was killed, said it was not the first time that debris had fallen from the building.

“Unfortunately, this time it hit someone,” Sot said.

If charges are brought against those responsible for the accident, it would be an anomaly in a country where construction accidents rarely lead to blame, let alone legal action.

In August 2013, three workers were killed in the space of a week as a result of building collapses. Two of them died when a concrete wall fell on them. Local officials vowed to take action against the owners – who weren’t identified.

The third man’s death, the result of a storage building collapsing in Kampong Cham province, was quickly put down to bad weather and was not investigated further.

In September 2012, four workers were injured when a brick wall at a construction site in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district collapsed. Fingers were pointed in different directions, but no one was held accountable. Workers were given just one paid day off to recover.

Days before it was to shelter hundreds of workers, a newly built – but empty – industrial building in Sen Sok district collapsed without warning. Authorities would not release the name of the building’s owner.



  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially