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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fires gut nearly 100 homes at New Year

Fires gut nearly 100 homes at New Year

fires.jpg
fires.jpg

Phnom Penh authorities were kept busy over the Khmer New Year period, when two

fires destroyed a total of 97 houses and left 111 families homeless.

Barangs get into the Khmer New Year experience, joining in with locals to hurl talcum powder and water outside Number 9 Guesthouse at Boeng Kak in Phnom Penh. Along with visiting temples and playing traditional games, innocent passers-by traveling around the city were cooled off from the sizzling heat in a (mostly) friendly war of water-bombs, buckets and hoses.

The

first fire occurred at midnight on April 14, on street 508, Psar Doeum Thkao

commune, Chamcar Mon district.

According to the military police incident

report released April 17, an electrical problem sparked the blaze in a house

containing four other flats.

The fire then spread through 48

neighbouring homes and displaced 58 families.

A similar incident occurred

at 12.15pm on April 16 at Boeng Kak two commune, Tuol Kork district.

Lim

San, 38, a construction worker, left an incense stick burning among his New Year

offerings when he left for a midnight walk. When he returned the incense had

started a fire that destroyed 48 houses, leaving 53 families

homeless.

There were no injuries sustained in either of the blazes,

according to the report.

Further incidents reported over the three-day

celebrations were motor vehicle accidents, a robbery and a shooting.

One

person was killed and three injured when two motorcycles collided on April 14 at

7:30 p.m. in Khan Dangkor

district.

In the same district on April 16

at 7:30 a.m. a Toyota corolla crashed into pedestrian Son Sean, 55, killing him

instantly.

Three pick-pocketers stole 22-year-old English tourist Leane

Aiexoanoel's handbag west of Wat Phnom on April 14 at 17:50.

Noun Sam

Art, 16, was later arrested for the offence and is detained at Duan Penh police

station, according to the military police report.

On April 16 at 23:50 a

dispute broke out at Meas Restaurant, Monivong Boulevard between Ty, 34, and Kut

Sophak, 37. According to the report the two men were arguing and Ty shot Sophak

in the thigh, seriously injuring him. Ty escaped afterwards.

On Sisowath

Quay, a policeman fired one round into the air at around 7:30 p.m. on April 16,

to disperse a man who was abusing police.

The man claimed the police hit

him in the arm with a baton while he was riding on the back of a friend's

motorcycle, apparently in an attempt to move congested traffic in front of Wat

Ounalom.

After verbal abusing the police for several more minutes, the

man left the scene with his friends.

The number of fatalities over the

New Year period was lower in 2005, compared with last year, when seven members

of one family were killed in a house fire, and two separate stabbing incidents

left two people seriously injured.

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