The death of a miner on Monday in a pit collapse in Preah Vihear is under investigation by Adhoc, the rights group has said.
Lor Chann, Adhoc coordinator in Preah Vihear province, said yesterday that the miner died while working for a private mining firm in Rovieng district, adding that the authorities believed the man to have been drunk at the time of his death.
“The villagers reported to me about the death of the mine worker, and I will go down to the scene next week to investigate the case,” he said.
It is not known at this stage whether the company, which is owned by tycoon Bun Vannthorn, is operating legally or not, Chann added.
The body of Chan Vanny, 45, was taken to his hometown in Kampong Speu province yesterday, a co-worker who declined to be named said.
The miners were about 10 metres underground when they heard the sound of an explosion and ran outside, according to the man.
“I heard the sound of the man shouting for help and we tried to help him.
“But it was too late, because the pile of earth collapsed on the hole and he died,” he said.
Brak Thorn, chief of Rovieng district’s Rom Tom commune, said the worker had died because he had been drunk on the job.
“He was very drunk. He fell down and hit his head on a rock, killing him,” Thorn said.
Bun Vannthorn and other mining company representatives could not be reached for comment yesterday.