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Gov’t studies raising explosives-laden ship

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A sunken 1970s warship rests 19m below the surface in the Mekong. Kampong Cham Information Department

Gov’t studies raising explosives-laden ship

A government working group is studying what to do with a shipwreck in Kampong Cham province’s Srei Santhor district suspected of carrying unexploded ordnance.

Provincial governor Un Chanda said the group is researching the wreck and the types of explosives it might contain. It is also coordinating with the navy and maritime police to prevent people from entering the area.

Balloons have been placed to warn the public the area is dangerous.

“I have not set a timeline for how long this work will take. The working group will have a meeting soon which may limit the operation of this work to some extent. So far, we have reached only the technical level,” Chanda said.

He said the working group is waiting to see the government feasibility study and may also look for partners who can cooperate.

Composed of 17 members from various institutions, the working group was created by Prime Minister Hun Sen in a directive dated August 28.

The institutions include the Ministry of National Defence; the National Police; the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC); the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC); and the provincial Board of Governors.

According to a preliminary research by CMAC, in the 1970s during the war of the Khmer Republic regime between 1973 and 1975, the warship, which was carrying explosives, sank in the Mekong River at a depth of 19m. It is located in Veal Village, in Srei Santhor district’s Meanchey commune.


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