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People gather yesterday morning at the scene of a landslide in Pailin province, where two workers were killed. Photo supplied
People gather yesterday morning at the scene of a landslide in Pailin province, where two workers were killed. Photo supplied

Two workers killed by rockslide in Pailin

Two men were killed in an accident in Pailin on Saturday evening when an excavator inadvertently triggered a rockslide at the construction site of Pailin town’s new City Hall.

Kong Samnang, O’Tavao commune chief, identified the two men as Chhoy Chhiv, the excavator operator, and Thy Ratha. Chhiv was employed by the Chhun Chhan company, which was granted a licence to build the new Pailin City Hall in that location. Samnang said Ratha did not work for the company and it was unclear why he was at the construction site.

The incident took place at 5pm on Saturday next to a hill that the excavator had been cutting away at. It took an hour to recover Chhiv’s body, and Ratha’s remains weren’t recovered until the following day.

“They were using the excavator to dig dirt when a hill collapsed on it, leading to the deaths of two people. He [Chhiv] died in the excavator because it was completely destroyed by rocks while the other died about two metres from the excavator,” Samnang said yesterday, adding that both bodies were “destroyed”.

Samnang also said construction operations have been suspended while the company waits to see if Chhiv’s family will file a complaint.

Lim Veasna, the district police chief, said government officials have asked the company to “bear responsibility” for the accident.

Mao Voeurn, deputy of Pailin’s provincial environmental department, also accused the company of failing to hire environmental experts to analyse the impact of the project, which he said it had agreed to do.

Contact information for the company could not be obtained yesterday.

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