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Illegal tree cutter hit by branch and killed

Illegal tree cutter hit by branch and killed

A man was killed in Preah Vihear’s Kulen district yesterday by a tree he was felling illegally.

According to Sem Lom, a resident of Srayong commune who attended the man’s funeral, Sren Mao, 32, was logging inside a protected forest area, with another man known only as Sun. The men were chopping down their second tree when a branch hit Mao.

“He cut the tree and its branch hit him badly and broke his right shoulder,” said Lom.

Sun attempted to drive Mao on a mini-tractor to the nearest hospital about 20 kilometres away, Lom added, but he died on the way.

In a seperate case yesterday in the nearby Kampong Trong community forest, authorities impounded two trucks and six logs after the vehicles were discovered by community members.

The witnesses said the vehicles belonged to a company called Koumoly, which is subcontracted to log the forest by a firm named Cambodia Blue Heaven.

Community members collected a thumbprint petition to submit to court requesting action be taken against the company.

However, they expressed fears yesterday officials would return the trucks to Koumoly after authorities tried to also take away the petition.

“The forest is granted to the community, but the company logged luxury trees. We stopped them, but the authority took the petition from us,” said community member Nuon Skun.

However, commune chief Chheng Uoy said the vehicles and logs were taken to the Kulen Prom-Tep environment office and provincial authorities would be seeking a response and a fine from the company.

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