Two girls drowned in Kampong Speu province’s Samrong Tong district on Sunday after sneaking out of the orphanage where they lived, commune and orphanage officials said yesterday.
Mey Chanthorn, chief of Trapaing Kong commune in Samrong Tong, said that nine children, aged 12 to 16, had quietly snuck out of the Hope Orphan Centre after lunch.
“They went to swim in the Prek Thnort river, which was about 50 metres from their centre, and then three of them started drowning,” he said, adding that villagers rushed in, but were too late. “One was saved, but two died when they slipped into a deep place.”
Tol Sam Ath, the manager of the centre, identified the girls as Mom Chansothavy, 13, and Pheak Lina, 16, and said the children were supposed to be napping at the time, but had slipped out through a hole in the backyard fence.
“They did not leave through the gateway, because they were scared the guards would not let them out,” Sam Ath said, adding that she had to retrieve one the bodies from the riverbed herself because villagers had been unable to find it.