THE company constructing a dam in Koh Kong province where seven workers were swept away in floodwaters earlier this month has paid US$1,000 to the families of each of the men for funeral expenses, but is denying responsibility for the incident, an official said yesterday.
Sok Nhor, chief of the penal crime department of Koh Kong provincial police, said China National Heavy Machinery had on Monday night paid $1,000 to the families of each of the seven men employed at its Stung Tatay hydropower project who were swept away in flood waters on September 10.
The men were trying to swim from their worksite to land after the bridge that provided a connection was damaged.
Sor Nhor said the company was not responsible for the workers’ deaths because the incident did not occur during working hours.
Two bodies were recovered last week and the five other men are presumed dead, he said.
Horm Suth, 40, said he had received $3,000 from the company in compensation for the loss of his younger brother and two nephews whose bodies have not yet been found.
“I accepted the money, but out of shock – I still have to conduct a funeral for my brother an nephews whose bodies have not been found,” said Horm Suth, adding that the Department of Industry, Mines and Energy had intervened to make sure families were paid compensation.
“The company stills denies responsibility, and claims the company supervisor banned workers from crossing the lake,” he said. The money was not compensation, but a way to end the matter, he said.
“I stopped filing a complaint against the company, but I request the government to help find justice for dead Khmer workers.”