A Battambang province farmer’s effort to catch rats for his supper by flushing them out of their holes went tragically awry yesterday when he stepped on a live wire in his neighbour’s orange orchard, police said.
Sangke district police chief Sum Sovan said that the victim, 32-year-old farmer Yerng Lerng was attempting to gather water to force some rats out of their holes when he stepped on the wire and died.
“After digging and capturing a few rats, he changed his hunting method from digging to pumping the hole with water,” Sovan said, explaining that Lerng wanted to push the rodents to the surface. “Unfortunately, when he grabbed the bucket to collect water from the pond – where an electric motor pump was operating to water the crops and an orange plantation – he stepped on the frayed wire and got shocked to death.”
Sovann said that neighbour Chinh Kosal bore responsibility for the incident because he placed the “wire on the ground carelessly and caused other people to be shocked to death”.
However, So Samrith, Kampong Prieng commune police chief, said Lerng’s wife, Oeun Dany, 29, did not blame Kosal for her husband’s death.
Kosal, nonetheless, said yesterday that the wire to the pump was only meant as an aid for watering his crops, and he felt remorse for his carelessness.