Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Orphans hurt after wall collapsed

Orphans hurt after wall collapsed

Orphans hurt after wall collapsed

121022_06

Vorn Mony, 19, recovers yesterday at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital. Six other labourers were injured when a wall collapsed on Friday, Oct. 17, 2012, at the Our Home orphanage in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Seven children from a local NGO that cares for orphans were sent to hospital yesterday after a brick wall in their building collapsed on them when they tried to help out on a construction project while workers were taking a lunch break.

The injuries, which aren’t critical, have nonetheless sparked criticism against the director of the organisation, Our Home, for providing insufficient supervision on site. Though officials are firing off accusations and calling for his dismissal, the children are the ones acting like peacemakers.

“I am not complaining about my organisation director, because we did this ourselves,” said Keo Polroth, 17, from his bed in the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.

Face swollen and hand attached to an intravenous drip, Polroth told a Post reporter that he and his buddies wanted to complete the unfinished renovation job.

“Then one of my friends who was a little bit away from us took a big hammer, smashed the wall and caused it to fall down on us,” he said.

Polroth was rendered unconscious under a pile of bricks. After a neighbour saw what happened, local authorities rushed the children to the hospital. Two of Polroth’s friends suffered broken bones, and the remaining four were treated for bruises and scrapes.

Vann Kahna, head of the Ministry of Social Affairs office in Meanchey district, said yesterday that two children were allowed to leave hospital after the doctors cleaned their wounds.

Our Home Director Hang Vibol said yesterday at the hospital that he did not ask the children to do the work.

“I was on the way to the hospital to get a check-up when I got a phone call informing me about this accident,” he said.

Vibol said that he had hired construction workers to build a new office, and that the boys tried to pitch in when everyone left at lunchtime.

“I really regret what they did. I pity them so much, and I do not want this case to happen to my children,” Vibol said.

Heak Chanleang, deputy governor of Meanchey district, said yesterday that the director of the organisation was careless, and that he should have ensured workers were on site.

“At first, I wanted to arrest the director of organisation, but I found that his organisation is registered and he has really helped the victims,” he said, adding that he would be monitoring the NGO from now on.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh