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CMAC head Heng Ratana meets with bomb evacuation teams yesterday in Svay Reing province.
CMAC head Heng Ratana meets with bomb evacuation teams yesterday in Svay Rieng province. Facebook

Five sick after bomb exposure in Svay Rieng

Five people in Svay Rieng’s Koki commune were exposed to what appeared to be a chemical weapon yesterday, a day after officials successfully removed one of two decades-old tear gas bombs located in the same commune.

Heng Ratana, director of the Cambodia Mine Action Centre, said four children around the age of 14 and one adult woman were exposed and are suffering from vomiting, headaches and respiratory difficulties. “It was around 3 kilometres away from our operation. They were checking something in the ground,” Ratana said, adding that officials would investigate further today.

Read more: The day ‘the sky became smoke white’

Ratana also said his team “neutralised” a US-made tear gas barrel bomb, dropped during the Vietnam War, at Koki’s primary school on Wednesday, and will now move on to another such bomb at the town’s pagoda.

Ratana also posted on Facebook yesterday that he met with the head of the National Authority for Chemical Weapons to discuss environmental impact assessments and proper disposal.

The tear gas bombs were discovered in January, but became a political talking point amid escalating tensions between Cambodia and the US.

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