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Men sleeping on railroad survive train

A man lies on a bed at Kampot Provincial Referral Hospital morning after being hit by a train the night before
A man lies on a bed at Kampot Provincial Referral Hospital yesterday morning after being hit by a train the night before. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Men sleeping on railroad survive train

One man lost a hand, and another his foot, after the two fell asleep drunk late Sunday night with their limbs draped over a railroad track in Kampot province’s Teuk Chhou district, police said yesterday.

Poch Chansuy, a police official in Koh Touch commune, where the accident occurred, identified the victims as Chiv Sao, 23, who lost his right hand, and Sot Sothearoth, 20, who lost his left foot.

“The two victims were sent to the hospital immediately by their families and local authorities. Right now, they are staying in the [intensive care unit],” he said.

According to Chea Phira, Teuk Chhou district deputy police chief in charge of traffic, the two left a local pub with a litre of rice wine to drink along the train tracks.

After finishing the bottle, both men fell asleep, each with an appendage laying on track; when the train came through at 11:38pm, it severed the limbs. Sao also sustained a head injury when he began convulsing after the accident, Phira said.

“In due form of law, it was not the train operator’s mistake,” he said. “The law states that pedestrians and travellers have to stay 10 metres away from the railway on both sides when the train comes.”

However, he added, “in this case, the train company should help the victims by paying the treatment fees,” he added.

Sothearoth’s mother, Om Sok, 53, said her son was now in the clear after being treated at the provincial hospital but that Sao had been sent to Phnom Penh for further treatment.

“I will not file a complaint against the company owner, but I just want to ask for some aid for paying for my son’s treatment since my family is very poor,” she said.

Neither police nor Sok were able to name the company operating the train. Toll Royal Railways has operated a line in Kampot since 2010, but phone calls to representatives went unanswered yesterday.

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