Two young children were killed Sunday night in an explosion after they tampered with imported fireworks in Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district.
Iv Chamreoun, Kandal provincial police chief, identified the deceased as Pun Sambath, 13, and Chey Vy, 11, in a Facebook post.
Sambath’s cousin Pun Sokhun, 16, and Meoun Sopheak, 17, were injured in the blast and sent to Phnom Penh’s Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.
Chung Vanny, deputy commander of the Kandal Provincial Military Police, said the four children bought the fireworks and modified them by placing the explosives inside an empty soft drink can. They then crushed the can, causing the explosion.
“We educated them, but the children do not listen to us . . . During Pchum Ben, the authorities will not permit people to play with explosives, because we want to maintain security and safety,” Vanny said, adding officials would investigate who sold the children the explosives.
Nhoy Da, who lives nearby, said he heard the explosion and witnessed the aftermath.
“At first I thought it was a tyre explosion, but I wondered why it was so loud. Later on, the villagers were screaming that the children died and I ran there,” Da said.
Vanny said the bodies have been returned to the families for traditional funerals.