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Fire compensation planned

OFFICIALS in the capital’s Prampi Makara district have organised meetings with local residents to determine compensation for those whose property was destroyed in a tanker fire last week.

The blaze broke out in Prampi Makara’s Veal Vong commune when a Sokimex fuel truck carrying roughly 8,000 litres of petrol exploded near the Socheat garage. 43-year-old Pou Cheng, the owner of the garage, met on Wednesday with residents and district officials to negotiate compensation offers, Prampi Makara district governor Som Sovann said.

Victims began submitting claims to district officials in relation to the fire last week.

“All cases cannot be solved at the same time because the situation is complicated, so we need to work step by step,” Som Sovann said. He declined to saw how many residents had submitted claims, though four families had done so as of Thursday last week.

In addition to those for homes, claims were filed for an SUV, motorbikes and cyclos that were damaged in the blaze, Som Sovann said.

Pou Cheng’s wife, 49-year-old Nuth Samoeun, was charged with arson last week in connection with the explosion of the fuel truck, which destroyed five homes and sent a plume of black smoke rising over the city. The driver of the truck has also been charged, though he fled the scene after the explosion and remains on the run.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Te Sam Ang said he would examine the complaints and compensation process as he evaluated Nuth Samoeun’s case.

Chea Theit, a 52-year-old resident of Veal Vong commune, claimed to have lost roughly US$220,000 worth of property in the fire, including his home. “I want them to compensate me for the rebuilding of my house,” he said.

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