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Dining hall blaze, Kompong Cham man sets fire to pagoda

Dining hall blaze, Kompong Cham man sets fire to pagoda

Kampong Siem district police in Kampong Cham province arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly setting fire to a pagoda’s dining hall in Hanchey commune, early on Monday.

District Police Chief Ek Pandorn said a villager, identified as Pov Sopheap, walked to a local pagoda in Krouch Seuch village at around 2am and set fire to the wooden dining hall.

“The dining hall was consumed by fire, but no one slept there, so there were no fatalities,” he said, adding that many items, including cupboards, beds, plates, pots and a boat, were destroyed in the blaze before three fire trucks managed to douse it.

He said seven tanks of water from district and provincial police stations were used to put out the blaze, adding it was difficult as the pagoda is more than 20km away.

After the fire was brought under control, Pandorn said police investigated and discovered that a man was allegedly the cause of the arson. He was arrested the same day.

“The man confessed, but he could not explain why he committed arson. It is claimed in the village that he is mentally ill, but there is no medical document to prove that,” Pandorn said.