Two girls drowned in a lotus pond on Wednesday on their way home from a rice field near their house in Kambol commune, Kambol district, Phnom Penh.
Commune police chief Phan Phoeun identified the girls as 10-year-old Ser Keo Raksa and 11-year-old Rithy Vattey. The two girls were cousins and both attended Ang Boeng Chek primary school. They both lived in the commune.
After checking the bodies, Phoeun said: “Experts have determined that the two victims died by drowning.”
According to local authorities, the parents of both victims are garment factory workers who work at night and rest during the day.
Before the incident, Vattey, Raksa and their seven-year-old brother walked to a rice field 300m from their house with their 70-year-old grandmother.
The grandmother walked around the rice field until 10am, and then the three children asked her to accompany them home.
They walked on a small path along the rice fields with a lotus pond nearby. Vattey slipped and fell into the pond. Raksa tried to help and she fell into the pond as well.
The boy saw their siblings drowning and shouted for help from his grandmother and nearby villagers. By the time help arrived, the two girls had been in the pond for over thirty minutes, Phoeun said.
Villagers removed the two girls from the pond and took them to the hospital, but they were not able to be saved.