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Falling steel kills worker in Phnom Penh

Falling steel kills worker in Phnom Penh

A contruction worker died in Phnom Penh this weekend while he was about to be transported to Vietnam for medical treatment after a metal pole fell 13 stories and struck his head, police, workers and an eyewitness said yesterday.

The man was working on Saturday afternoon without a helmet, according to a witness, on an apartment building owned by Greater Apartment Building company in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang I commune.

The general manager for the apartment was “busy” when contacted yesterday.

A commune police official, who requested anonymity, said the worker, identified as Ngel Vy, 36, was from Prey Veng province. An investigation into the incident is ongoing, but several testimonies suggested it was an accident, he said.

He did not know whether the company would pay compensation, which he said may be negotiated by a relative of the deceased who works at the same site.

A construction worker, who also asked not to be named, said Ngel Vy was transported to Mekong Hospital, but then sent to Calmette Hospital because of his critical condition.

He said Ngel Vy’s relative on the site requested that he then be sent to Vietnam for treatment. He died on the way.

A witness, who asked not to be named, said he heard the accident and saw the worker splayed on the ground amid a panicked scene.

“I was 10 feet away. It was apparent he had a massive head injury,” he said.

Workers loaded the man onto the back of a motorcycle, he said.

“He was just like a wet noodle, hanging off, blood spilling everywhere,” he said.

The policeman said Ngel Vy had been taken away by the time he arrived, and saw only a pool of blood.

The head of the construction site “did not cooperate” or provide detailed information about the accident, he said.

Chhouy Meng, head of the emergency care unit and vice chief of the technical office at Calmette, said doctors at Calmette do not usually transfer patients in critical condition to Vietnam for treatment.

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