A lightning strike killed one worker and injured four others while they were loading cassava onto a truck in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district on Sunday afternoon, police said yesterday.
According to Pich Kin, the O’Da commune deputy police chief, survivors told authorities that they were loading cassava to take it into Lumphat village when a torrential rainstorm swept in, but the five continued working.
“Suddenly, the lightning struck – and it sounded like a bomb – right into the cassava pile where they were loading them onto the truck. It hit Sem Borie hard and he died instantly at the site,” Kin said, referring to the 25-year-old victim. “Another four workers including a four-month pregnant woman fell unconscious.”
Pean Manet, a technical officer at the Kamrieng district police station, said that the two women injured in the lightning strike, Thear Keun, 20 and Yi By, 22, were treated at the Ta Krei commune health centre.
“So far, both the victims are conscious, but Yi Bi’s [unborn] baby was affected seriously and she might miscarry the baby if she happens to fall or be seriously [hurt] again,” Manet said.
The two male survivors – Chek Chern, 35 and Morm Chanthorn, 28, both farmers from Lumpat village – regained consciousness near the truck after being out for 15 minutes.
They helped resuscitate the injured women but didn’t go to the health centre themselves.
Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said that 80 people died and 63 were injured in lightning strikes in the first nine months of 2015, not including Sunday’s victims.