A farmer in Pursat province was seriously injured by an unexploded ordnance (UXO) explosion on May 8 and died after being admitted to Veal Veng District Referral Hospital.
District police chief Theang Leng identified the victim as Uth Peng Seng, a 32-year-old farmer from Chhay Lok village in Veal Veng district’s O’Som commune.
Citing witnesses’ accounts, Leng said Peng Seng picked up the UXO and it detonated. No one could explain why he wanted to touch the ordnance.
"When he touched the bomb, people suddenly heard an explosion like lightning, then they went to the scene and found his body covered in blood and reported the incident to O'Som commune police,” he said.
Leng added that police transported the victim to hospital, but due to serious injuries he died.
He said that shrapnel had hit most of the victim's face, shattered his bladder, broke both of his legs and left arm at the armpit.
Leng said that in Pursat province, especially in Veal Veng district, was once a battlefield between the govenment and Khmer Rouge armies, who buried and left UXOs there.
Due to the presence of UXOs, district authorities as well as the provincial authorities continue to warn people about their dangers.
Ly Thuch, first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, has said UXOs continue to affect the livelihoods of some people, both in remote rural and urban areas.
"So, everyone should be careful when they see [UXO]. Do not try to touch, play or pick it up or turn it into something else, because it can easily explode and endanger lives," he said.