An eight-year-old boy was left unconscious and died later after he was hit by the lid of a petrol drum that exploded when he lit firecrackers on Lunar New Year, said Kandal province’s Sa’ang district authorities.
The incident took place on Saturday morning in the district’s Troeuy Sla commune. District governor Nhem Vandine on Sunday identified the victim as Phanna Daro, a resident there.
Huor Phanna, the victim’s father, said he and his son went to his brother’s residence to enjoy the Lunar New Year’s celebration.
While the elders were busy preparing for the ceremony and burning incense as part of the rites for ancestral offering, the victim had secretly gone to buy a box of firecrackers. He then tied these to a petrol drum left behind by his uncle.
The lighting of the firecrackers caused an explosion and threw the drum lid upward, which hit and rendered him unconscious. The boy died while on the way to the hospital.
“We made an announcement explicitly prohibiting the selling and using of firecrackers during the Lunar New Year celebrations. Firecrackers are explosive devices that pose a danger to people’s safety,” said Vandine.
Phanna said: “I have always told my son not to play with firecrackers because I have read some fatalities in the news which were caused by firecracker explosions. But I don’t think he secretly went to buy them.”
Upon checking the scene, Sa’ang district police found and gathered a petrol drum and its broken lid and a box of firecrackers.
Authorities also seized a basketful of firecrackers being sold by a vendor in the commune, added district police chief Seng Socheat.