A family timber felling expedition in Oddar Meanchey province’s Tumnup Dach commune ended in tragedy on Friday when a man’s chainsaw detonated a landmine.
Sun Borann, a military commander in Trapaing Prasat district, said the blast instantly killed Chhay Boeun, 65, and his youngest son, 13-year-old Peng Sim.
The explosion also injured their relatives Ros Phean, 55, and his youngest son, Chhin Bunthoeun, 15. The pair were rushed to the hospital after sustaining shrapnel wounds to their hands and feet.
Phean explained that the four relatives were cutting down beng trees to make wardrobes and tables for sale.
“My brother in-law used a chainsaw to cut [a beng tree] and it touched a landmine, causing it to explode and kill him and his son,” Phean said, according to Borann.
“My son and I were injured by shrapnel and were rescued by a group of soldiers who brought us to the hospital.”
The landmine, said Borann, “was a Chinese Type 69 anti-personnel mine, used in the 1980s”. These mines, he said, “remain explosive for 70 years”.
Last July, says Borann, another Chinese-made Type 69 mine killed one man and injured another.
Yesterday, he added, “the group Halo Trust detected and destroyed a DK-82 [mortar] ordnance, an anti-tank ordnance, and a Type 69 anti-personnel mine in Trapaing Prasat district”. The three UXOs all came from China.