Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Blaze destroys military weapons, ammo cache

Blaze destroys military weapons, ammo cache

Soldiers examine the charred remains of AK-47 rifles destroyed in a fire at a military ammunition warehouse in Oddar Meanchey. Photo supplied
Soldiers examine the charred remains of AK-47 rifles destroyed in a fire at a military ammunition warehouse in Oddar Meanchey. Photo supplied

Blaze destroys military weapons, ammo cache

The ammunition warehouse of a military unit based in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district was destroyed on Saturday, along with all of its contents, when a fire ripped through the building, setting off a series of explosions, the division’s commander said yesterday.

Theung Thea, chief of Division 415, said the total damage to the wooden, zinc-roofed structure had not been tallied.

However, National Police reported on their website that the building had contained at least 13 guns of various makes and models – including AK rifles, a 12.7 millimetre heavy machine gun and an M20 anti-tank weapon that fires explosive shells – and nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

Thea said the cause of the fire was still unknown but noted that those responsible for looking after the building were being questioned.

He speculated, however, that the blaze could have been caused by the petrol and diesel sometimes used to clean the weapons.

“At 12:47pm, some of them went elsewhere. Some went to bring water down the hill over a kilometre from the base. Some went to have lunch.

Only one solider named Som Chay was still there,” he said, adding that a total of five soldiers were sent for questioning.

Despite the explosions set off by the fire, Thea said that a panic among locals was avoided as the conflagration was downwind, which prevented the sound from carrying.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,