A man died on Saturday after being attacked with a chemical substance used in the manufacture of plastic bags in Meanchey district, according to deputy district police chief Hour Meng Vang.
The victim, Morn Pheara, 18, was doused with the substance after an argument with co-workers on Saturday night. He was taken to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh where he later died.
Pheara was drinking alcohol with three brothers – Mab Pohnleu, Mab Kot, and Mab Mey – when they got into an argument that turned violent.
“They had a long quarrel until a fight broke out, and one of them [Mey] took the liquid from a container and threw it on the victim,” Vang said.
The police website reported that Pheara died of chemical burns. The site also explains that the substance was a chemical used for printing on plastic.
Vang denied that the liquid was acid, as originally reported by local media.
Naly Pilorge, director of NGO Licadho, which works with acid attack victims, said she did not expect this case to be covered by the Acid Law.
“If there was intent, then penal code would cover it as manslaughter or premeditated killing,” she said.
Vang confirmed that Mey was arrested at the scene and is being held temporarily at Meanchey district police station for further questioning before facing charges in court.
His two brothers fled and have not yet been apprehended by authorities. Hospital officials confirmed the victim’s body was returned to his family yesterday morning.