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Trio sent to municipal court in crane mishap

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Police investigate the crane collapse on Koh Pich in Chamkarmon district’s Tonle Bassac communne. Heng Chivoan

Trio sent to municipal court in crane mishap

Phnom Penh municipal police sent two construction foremen and a crane operator to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday over the collapse of a crane which struck a US embassy vehicle.

An embassy official was injured in the incident on Tuesday on Koh Pich in Chamkarmon district’s Tonle Bassac commune.

Phnom Penh municipal police minor crimes bureau chief Bun Satya told The Post on Wednesday that the trio was questioned by a court prosecutor. The foremen were Chinese nationals aged 41 and 49, while the crane operator is a 22-year-old Cambodian national, he said.

Chamkarmon district governor Theng Sothol told The Post on Wednesday that construction at the site was temporarily suspended pending resolution with the embassy.

He said the developer of the 47-storey condominium project had the proper building permits and that the concrete foundation had just begun to be set.

A fragment of the crane’s jib arm broke off and fell on a parked excavator which broke its fall, he said. However, its cables smashed into the back of the passing US embassy vehicle, causing minor damage.

“The US embassy official in the car sustained minor injuries as the cable shattered the glass, which fell on him,” said Sothol.

Tonle Bassac commune police chief Sok Sam Uth said the incident took place at 9am on Tuesday, and that witnesses told his officers that the US embassy official had been injured in the arm by the broken glass.

Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia president Sok Kin, said work accidents and construction quality continue to plague the Kingdom’s construction sector.

Many construction firms do not provide their workers with proper supervision, he said.

However, over the last few years, the government has been looking into ways to improve accident prevention and alleviate some of the other issues that have arisen, he said.

The government, Kin said, has set up a commission to investigate construction violation and to draft prakas related to worker safety and construction quality.

“The commission has found a number of buildings with technical violations, all of which have been suspended. This is a good system for stakeholders,” he said.

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