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An ambulance transports the body of a construction manager from a building site in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey distric
An ambulance transports the body of a construction manager from a building site in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Workers at the scene said the second floor of the building collapsed. Hong Menea

Man killed in floor collapse

The manager of a construction team building a house in Meanchey district was killed yesterday when the planned second floor of the building crumbled and fell on top of him, according to a local official and two workers, who were both injured during the collapse.

Keo Saroeurn, Chak Angre Leu commune chief, said the accident happened at 2:45pm yesterday along National Road 2 in Prek Takong 3 village.

The building was “in the construction stage”, said Saroeurn, who identified the victim only as Chi.

Owners of the house declined to comment.

Injured worker Sorn Seurn, 45, said the accident happened while the second floor was being finished. The manager was inspecting the wooden scaffolding that supported the floor in progress, Seurn said, and the workers were lying on top of it.

“The floor had already been laid. Suddenly the scaffolding broke and fell onto the man who was inspecting on the first floor,” he added.

While he didn’t know what caused the tragedy, Seurn noted that the house owners had asked the manager to prepare a traditional shrine to bring happiness, but the manager said he was not superstitious.

By late afternoon, a large crowd had assembled, slowing traffic on the road. Bun Thorn, 53, one of the many who stopped to look, said he had experience in construction and hypothesised that the scaffoldings may not have been strong enough.

“What I saw is the wooden scaffoldings weren’t strong enough and they were placed too far from each other. Also, the planks are thin and they could not support the weight of the floor like that.”

Asked whether the lack of a shrine could have played a part, Thorn said there were more pressing questions that would shed light on the case.

“The superstition is another thing, but the technical problem is the important thing which the construction manager and workers should know,” he said.

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