Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fires claim at least 10 lives in first five months of 2021

Fires claim at least 10 lives in first five months of 2021

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Fire destroyed a warehouse of Cambodian traders at Rong Kluea Market in Thailand on June 14. Police

Fires claim at least 10 lives in first five months of 2021

At least 10 people have been killed and 16 injured in fires across the country in this year’s first five months, according to data obtained by The Post from the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).

The data on the impacts and damage caused by the fires shows that during this period, there were 234 fires that damaged 231 houses, 67 market stalls, eight warehouses, eight factories, 17 public administration buildings and three schools. Fires also destroyed eight plantations and damaged seven forests.

Kampot province is considered a “model” province for fire prevention, with only one fire this year that damaged one house. Phnom Penh has the highest number of fires and the most damage in the country, followed by Battambang, according to the document.

The province with the highest number of fatalities was Kampong Chhnang with five dead and one injured, while Phnom Penh has two dead and 12 injured.

The Ministry of Interior’s Department of Fire Prevention, Extinguishing and Rescue director Neth Vantha said: “Most of the fires are caused by explosions, electrical problems and carelessness by landlords, plantation owners, unit owners and business owners.”

“The rescue operations of our fire fighters are still limited due to the lack of modern fire trucks and safety equipment for them,” he said.

The national police on June 14 provided a fire engine to the fire department to help the fire fighters carry out their duties, especially in putting out fires at warehouses, factories, enterprises and highrise buildings in Phnom Penh.

The national police also provided another fire engine to the Phnom Penh municipal administration for rescues and general fire fighting operations.

According to Vantha, these fire engines have more capacity than the engines that Cambodia has used in the past. They can hold 8,000 litres of water and spray water quickly from a height of more than 30 metres.

He called on residents and authorities to remain vigilant in the event of fires, which can occur during the rainy season or the dry season, noting that every house should have first aid kits and basic equipment such as fire extinguishers.

“In order to prevent fires, we should regularly inspect and repair any part of the electrical wiring that is deficient or not up to technical standards. Turn off lights and unplug devices when they are not in use and turn off gas stoves, and thoroughly extinguish fires after cooking or burning grass and kitchen waste,” he said.

Two warehouses belonging to Cambodian traders in Rong Kluea Market at the Thai border were destroyed by fire on the night of June 14.

According to Thai authorities, the fire was most likely caused by an electrical fault. But Thai police were still investigating at this time according to Cambodian market vendors there.

“The warehouses that caught fire were K72 and K73. Cambodian traders rented them to store carpets and clothes,” said Bun Heng, a clothing trader in the market.

He said the damage was estimated at over 5 million baht ($16,000), but it is unknown whether Thai authorities, market owners or any other party will compensate the Cambodian traders should they be deemed responsible.

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided