Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Anti-tank mine explosion kills two

Anti-tank mine explosion kills two

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities pose next to a pair of mine detectors which were used by victims of a bomb explosion in Oddar Meanchey on Thursday.Police

Anti-tank mine explosion kills two

A bomb explosion on Thursday killed two of three “unlicensed” men who were hired to carry out mine clearance in O’Svay commune, in Oddar Meanchey province’s Trapaing Prasat district.

District police chief In Kay said the villagers had collectively hired Hok Rachhan, 18, Mao Kamsot, 22, and Tem Bunthim, 49, to detonate land mines at a plantation in Sen Sam village.

They have been in the business for more than 10 years as the locals know it, he said.

“The villagers trusted them, therefore, they were hired to do the work. The ground used to be a fighting area, containing a lot of unexploded ordnances [UXOs]. Some experts have come to demine the ground five times already,” he said.

Kay said the authorities have “educated the locals about the dangers of the UXOs and warned them not to clear the bombs by themselves”.

He said the trio were taking a break on the very spot where Rachhan detected an anti-tank mine underneath them.

Without realising how deep the UXO was buried, Rachhan dug the ground with a hoe, while Kamsot boiled water for tea and Bunthim walked away from the site to look for his snare.

As he kept digging, Rachhan’s hoe eventually hit and detonated the mine, killing him and Kamsot on the spot. Bunthim who was away escaped unscathed.

Aware of the accident, Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana said his team members plan to visit the explosion site and examine the case on Friday, regarding it as “one of the biggest issues”.

“The men were not demining experts, they never got any training. They only knew how to clear mines from observing other people, but they still risked their lives."

“They did not possess a licence nor did they have the expertise to carry out mine clearance, thus they did their work illegally,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished