Eight people died and three sustained injuries in lightning strikes in Prek Chik commune, Rukhak Kiri district, in Battambang province on Thursday, the last day of Pchum Ben.
Rukhak Kiri deputy district police chief Touch Vin told The Post on Sunday that six among 10 people having a family meal died when lightning struck.
The victims were Yum Nhek, 56, the house owner, his wife Chea Sokna, their son and daughter and two other relatives from Battambang. All died on the spot.
Four other people sustained injuries. One among them named Hout Hong, 58, died on the way to the Moung Russey district referral hospital in Battambang.
On the same day, a man name Lor Vireak, 46, died when he was hit by lightning while taking cows back from a rice field, Vin said.
“These lighting strikes are terrible. Eight people died and three others sustained injuries within only 15 minutes of one another,” he said.
Prek Chik commune has seen its share of lightning strike victims. There have been 98 cases as of September 20. Of the victims, 61 people died and 37 sustained injuries, National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) advisor Keo Vy said on Sunday.
Lightning strikes, he said, have also killed 53 animals and damaged 12 houses. “Lighting strikes this year is worse compared to previous years,” he said.
After receiving the news, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng sent condolence letters to the affected families and helped to cover funeral expenses by providing three million riel ($750) to each victim.
Those hospitalised will be given two million riel each, according to a Battambang provincial administration report released on September 18.