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Divers recover body of guard killed in Sihanoukville tanker crash

Rescue officials survey the damage to a jetty off Sihanoukville that a Tela oil tanker crashed into on Wednesday. Photo supplied
Rescue officials survey the damage to a jetty off Sihanoukville that a Tela oil tanker crashed into on Wednesday. Photo supplied

Divers recover body of guard killed in Sihanoukville tanker crash

An 18-year-old security guard who vanished during a Vietnamese oil tanker’s collision with a jetty in Sihanoukville on Tuesday was found dead on the sea floor near the crash site yesterday morning.

The tanker had destroyed a 100-metre-wide docking platform and 80 metres of jetty belonging to Tela Kampuchea petrol company. The body of Sem Vannak, who worked for Tela and hailed from Prek Pnov commune in Phnom Penh, was recovered from under the debris.

“Divers moved those chunks out to bring the body ashore and handed it to the family for a traditional burial,” said Chan Phearum, deputy police chief of Stung Hav district.

Authorities inspecting the site said that the tanker was not leaking. The oil slick detected after the crash was leftover in a pipe that was used to unload oil from the tanker, they added.

Nonetheless, Preah Sihanouk police Deputy Chief Kol Phaly said that a Tela representative plans to file a complaint to the provincial court against Vietnamese captain Ngayen Vulang and his assistant Nuon Chanrith, who were at the helm during the incident.

However, the Vietnamese company that owns the tanker said it wants to negotiate with Tela and its insurance company outside the courtroom, according to Phaly. Authorities did not know the name of the Vietnamese company and Tela refused to comment.

Workers interviewed by the police said the oil tanker had been attempting to unload oil at the facility, located about 10km north of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, when the ship ran into the platform without slowing down.

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