Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Scaffolding collapse families seek answers, compensation

Scaffolding collapse families seek answers, compensation

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Three elevator repairmen were crushed to death on Saturday after a 16-storey-tall scaffolding collapsed on top of them. HEAN RANGSEY

Scaffolding collapse families seek answers, compensation

Family members of the three elevator repairmen who were crushed to death on Saturday after a 16-storey-tall scaffolding collapsed on top of them told The Post that they want to be properly compensated.

The victims: Sok Sambath, 21; Yem Tin, 35; and Thim Thyrong, 31, were working overtime at a condominium construction site on Street 65 in Phnom Penh’s Srah Chak commune in Daun Penh district when the incident occurred.

Sambath’s family scrambled to search for him after he called his wife to let her know that he would be working late before going missing, his elder sister Nheu Taing Suon told The Post.

Suon said: “When we went to the scene, some victims were identified by their legs, some were recognised by their arms. My younger brother is from Kampong Thom province and we saw his knees first and suspected it was him, as we remembered his jeans.

“We don’t know how they fell or why but at that time we saw they were crushed by the iron scaffolding, planks of wood and other construction materials.”

She said that Sambath had been missing since 8:30pm on Saturday and the corpses of the victims were not discovered until Sunday evening when workers returned to the site for the next shift.

The family members filed a report with the police immediately, Suon said, but after negotiations on compensation fell through, authorities kept the bodies until 10am on Monday.

Tin’s elder sister, Yem Yorn, told The Post: We don’t know who their boss is. They only gave us $3,000. I don’t know much, but I know people died and it was three days before we were given his body. We just had to move on [and accept the compensation offered].

“My younger brother has three children and his second child is just one-year-old. We want to get better compensation to help his children,” she said.

The family members claimed that the construction site was owned by a Cambodian man but could not say who it was.

Daun Penh governor Sok Penh Vuth, Srah Chak commune second deputy chief Chhay Thyrith, Daun Penh police chief Huot Chan Yarann and Srah Chak police chief Kan Vannak declined to comment.

Some of them said they were in the provinces while others said that they could not talk because they had not visited the scene of the incident.

Cambodian Food and Service Union president Sar Mora said the companies are only required to compensate families if the incident is found to be caused by negligence or if the construction failed to comply with safety or technical standards.

“The Labour Law does not stipulate criminal punishment but the Criminal Code may stipulate that there is negligence leading to unintentional manslaughter.

“It’s up to authorities to investigate the matter if they find that the incident was an accident, the manager of the site would not be held legally responsible,” he said.


  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • PP residents urged to use public transport

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has urged Phnom Penh residents to use the capital’s existing public transport services rather than private vehicles, as it is leading to increased traffic congestion. He also called for the city’s public bus system to