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Chinese workers die in hydro-site rock fall

TWO Chinese nationals had been crushed to death in an accident at the construction site of a hydro-power dam in Koh Kong province last week, a police official said yesterday.

Li Ching-fu, 36, and Chin Komin, 38, had been killed instantly when drilling trigg-ered a minor rock fall at China Huadian Hong Kong Limited’s Russei Chrum Kraom river project site, in Thmar Baing district, Sin Sen, the deputy chief of Koh Kong pol-ice, said.

“They were trying to dig a hole in the Tatai mountain in order to make an electric water system,’’ he said.

“Two Chinese men were immediately killed by stones falling at the company’s construction site.”

Another Chinese national,  Lieu Chungjng, 35, had escaped serious injury after fellow workers rushed to his aid, Sin Sen said.

He is recovering in the  Koh Kong provincial hospital.

The bodies were being kept at the provincial police headquarters awaiting repatriat-ion to China, Sin Sen said.

Neang Boratino, the Koh Kong provincial co-ordinator for rights group Adhoc, said yesterday “risky” working conditions at the site were a concern for about 100 Cambodians employed on the project who did not have health insurance.

“I am very concerned about Cambodian workers who work for this Chinese hydropower construction project in Tatai,” Neang Boratino said.

“They are at significant risk because they work without safe conditions or the company’s guarantee.”

Sin Sen and Neang Boratino have vowed to investigate working conditions and safety standards at the construct-ion site.

The Russei Chrum Kraom River hydro-power dam is designed to generate 338 megawatts of electricity and is budgeted to cost US$496 million.

Representatives of China Huadian Hong Kong Limited could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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