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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UXO casualty: Girl killed by unexploded rocket in fire

UXO casualty: Girl killed by unexploded rocket in fire

An 8-year-old girl was killed after a 60-millimetre rocket left over from the government’s fight with the Khmer Rouge exploded in a rice field in Kampong Speu province’s Oral district on Sunday afternoon, the victim’s family and authorities said.

Yong Kea, the mother of Yem Keayi, said that on Sunday morning, a fire broke out at a dam in Trapaing Chor commune. She and her husband went to extinguish the blaze so it wouldn’t damage their rice fields. Their daughter tagged along.

While they tried to put out the flames, they were distracted and didn’t see that Yem was also attempting to help by using a small branch.

“A moment later, the boom sounded loudly, and suddenly my husband and I rushed to our daughter and saw that she was bleeding badly in both thighs. My daughter screamed for her parents to help her. She screamed for a few words and died,” Kea said.

Hong Thy, Trapaing Chor commune police chief, said the fire likely spread as a result of locals smoking out honeybees, and “because of the carelessness of the honey finders in the forest, since they might not have put out their fire after taking the honey or they threw the cigarette butt carelessly on the dried grass”.

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