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Man injured in blast at illegal mine

Man injured in blast at illegal mine

A 27-year-old man was badly injured in an explosion at an illegal mining site in Battambang’s Phnom Prek district yesterday afternoon, police said.

According to Song Sopheak, Phnom Prek’s district police chief, the man and a few others were using dynamite to excavate an unlicensed gold mine when a technical error caused the dynamite to explode prematurely at about 1pm.

“They were mining illegally there and [the dynamite] exploded, injuring one of them badly, but [he was] not killed,” Sopheak told the Post yesterday, adding that the victim lived in Phnom Prek village, and had been sent to Thailand to receive emergency medical treatment for the injuries he sustained.

Police are looking into the explosion, he added.

Chum Maly, the Phnom Prek village chief, said illegal mining still takes place around the village where the explosion occurred yesterday.

“About 20 people are mining illegally here. I saw police come and go, but I do not know what police are doing there,” he told the Post.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy is currently in the midst of a countrywide clampdown on illegal mining and sand dredging.

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