Two middle-aged homeless men were found dead in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district early yesterday morning, with one body left in the street some six hours after police first arrived, local authorities confirmed.
One body was discovered on a roundabout near the Cambodian Council for Development, while the other was found near the port on Sisowath Quay. Police said no cause of death had yet been determined.
Some social media users took pictures of the bodies and turned to Facebook to complain that they had been left lying in the street too long, but both local officials and residents dismissed the allegations.
“People are always going to criticise, but we rushed to find the body as soon as we got the information,” said local commune chief Chhay Thearith. “One of the men died at 4 in the morning, and we delivered the body to the pagoda by 6 . . . We didn’t even get to sleep.”
Keo Phally, a local resident living 10 metres from where one of the bodies was discovered, said he reported the body at 1:00am and the police arrived two hours later.
The body remained at the site until 9:00 am, when an ambulance took it away for cremation.
Phally said it was normal to keep the body where it was found until police could verify whether the dead man had family members who wanted to claim his corpse.
Chea Chheurn, an official in charge of cremation at the Tuol Sangke pagoda, confirmed that he had received the two bodies and had already cremated them.