SIEM REAP PROVINCE
TWO men in Siem Reap province’s Srei Snam district died Sunday after an attempt to repair a well went awry, and a third man fainted while trying to save them, police and villagers said Monday.
Path Thoun, who helped retrieve the bodies from the well, said he believed 30-year-old Pieng Mab succumbed to a combination of exhaust fumes and a lack of oxygen attempting to rid the well of bad water using a pump.
His 56-year-old father-in-law, Chorn Meth, also died after descending to the bottom of the well to assist his son-in-law, Path Thoun said.
He added that a third villager, 29-year-old Bo Pek, lost consciousness three minutes after he was lowered into the well, but that he survived when 25-year-old Pieng Somoeut rescued him.
Pieng Somoeut said that it became difficult to breathe when he reached the middle of the well, but that he had managed to retain consciousness long enough to grab hold of Bo Pek and give the signal to his friends to pull them out.
“I almost fainted when I touched Bo Pek at first, and then I yelled,” he said.
District police Chief Meas Pidoar said the well was 9 metres deep, and that the men had most likely suffocated.