Authorities in Siem Reap have issued a stop work order at a building site where a teenage worker was killed on Sunday after part of the structure collapsed.
It has been confirmed that the building belongs to the sister of the province’s deputy police chief.
Siem Reap city Land Management Office head Sar Chan Phallin said on Monday that all activities were ordered to stop at the building after 16-year-old Khum Pick was killed and four other workers seriously injured when part of the building crumbled.
“At the moment, experts are instructing the building owner to make a legal document asking for renovations in order to discuss with experts, the techniques to be used to renovate this old building,” Phallin said.
The building, located on the city’s well-known Pub Street, collapsed around 1am on Sunday while renovations were taking place.
The original structure dates to the French colonial period. It has been used as a restaurant for the past few years before it was sold to Ly Kim Mey, who owns Siem Reap’s well-known Temple Bar and is the sister of Ly Kong Srun, Siem Reap province’s deputy police chief.
On Monday Khum Pich’s mother, Chuon Lorb, 46, told The Post that she was not angry at the building owner despite the loss of her son.
“I know after the incident happened, the building owner, workers, contractor and local authorities have intervened to help my son and other victims."
“Unfortunately, my son was injured badly and could not be saved. The building owner is generous and responsible by paying $3,500 to us for the funeral expenses,” she said.
Family members of the four injured workers expressed similar sentiments, saying all but 18-year-old Mut Ry had already left the hospital.
Kim Mey could not be reached for comment on Monday, but her brother, Kong Srun told The Post that the company halted its renovation activities temporarily as it was liaising with experts.
“In fact, my sister wants to renovate the building and use it as a restaurant and guesthouse, but she wants to preserve the original style.
“However, they had not done anything yet to the building and they just prepared some materials for renovation when the building collapsed. At the moment, she is waiting for instructions and decisions from the experts,” Kong Srun said.
In a letter to deputy prime minister Sar Kheng shortly after the collapse, Siem Reap provincial governor Khem Bun Song said the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction will work with provincial officials to identify vulnerable colonial-era structures in the area and advise them to perform renovations.
In the letter, Khem Bun Song confirmed that “the experts will inspect the surrounding buildings in that area in order to ensure which buildings can continue to be used and which ones can cause high risks and requires renovation”.