A 15-month-old infant is in critical condition and his uncle badly burned after a Sihanoukville woman allegedly doused them with gasoline, set them alight and fled the scene on Wednesday night, provincial police said yesterday.
Thay Chorn, 33, ignored his 22-year-old wife Thai Sreyra’s repeated requests to return home after looking for work in Banteay Meanchey province and instead chose to stay at his sister’s house in Mittapheap district, according to Chul Phorsda, Sihanoukville’s deputy police chief.
Sreya allegedly drove a moto to her sister-in-law’s house in Commune 3 with a canister of gas in hand. After arguing with her husband, who was resting on a bed alongside his baby nephew, she doused them both with gasoline and lit a match, Chorn told the Post yesterday.
“Seeing the flame, the husband [Chorn] rushed out of the room and left the baby sleeping in the bed,” Phorsda said.
The cries of the burning infant alerted Chorn, who rushed back into the house to save his nephew, later sent to Pediatric Hospital in the capital where he received initial care.
Chorn also sustained burns and was hospitalised at Chamka Chek Hospital while Sreya fled the scene and remains at large, Phorsda said, adding that locals quickly extinguished the fire before it spread and destroyed the house.
Chheurn Vuthy, director of operations at Pediatric Hospital told the Post the little boy was in critical condition and sustained second and third-degree burns to his face and neck.
“We did our best to better the boy’s condition, though the parents have transferred the victim to Kantha Bopha Hospital already,” he said, noting that the baby had been transferred this morning.