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Authorities talk near a canal in Siem Reap's Puok district where three young children drowned on Sunday. National Police
Authorities talk near a canal in Siem Reap's Puok district where three young children drowned on Sunday. National Police

Three siblings drown in Siem Reap canal

A Siem Reap family lost three of their four children on Sunday when a swimming outing in a canal turned deadly.

Puok district police chief Pet Pumsen said the three deceased were Rangsy, 12, Raksa, 8, and Sovan Panha, 5, of the Keo family. The three had gone swimming with their older sister, Keo Pich Choranai, 16, and cousin Vy Vicheka, 7, in a 4-metre-deep canal in the district’s Sososdom commune.

Keo Phally, 44, the victims’ father, said he and his wife had not permitted their children to swim in the canal when they asked, but they had accompanied their elder sister anyway.

Phally said Choranai screamed for help when two of her younger siblings first slid into the canal, rushing from the shallow area to help them. She only managed to pull their cousin to safety.

The youngest sibling followed the first two into the water, also drowning.

The family has prepared a funeral with assistance from the Siem Reap Red Cross, which gave 1.5 million riel ($366), and provincial lawmaker Seang Nam, who donated $1,000 to the bereaved.

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