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Wall collapse kills two construction workers

A child rides her bike near a worksite where two men were crushed by a collapsing wall.
A child rides her bike near a worksite where two men were crushed by a collapsing wall. PHA LINA

Wall collapse kills two construction workers

Two construction workers were crushed to death on Saturday in Phnom Penh when a concrete wall collapsed on them as they were digging a building’s foundation.

Boeung Tompun commune police identified the victims as Touch Chorm, 17, from Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district, and, Yung Yangthor, 57, from the capital’s Meanchey district.

Both victims were killed by accident, exonerating Company 999 from paying anything beyond funeral costs, according to municipal deputy police chief Choun Narin.

“Even though the victims died while working, it was an accident. No one has to take responsibility. The manager only paid for the funerals,” Choun Narin said, adding that he was unsure how much the families were compensated.

Representatives of Company 999 could not be reached for comment.

The 67 other workers on site during the collapse left a few hours after the accident, but So Nidet, 53, a local living near the construction site, said Touch Chorm was a student and often worked construction during school vacations.

So Nidet witnessed workers attempt to extricate the victims from the three- to four-metre-deep hole for about 30 minutes after the walls collapsed around 9am. The retrieval of the bodies was aided by the arrival of an excavator at 9:45am.

“I heard noise, and when I opened my door, I saw sand and concrete fall into the hole. And when I asked the other workers what happened, they said two other workers had been trapped in the hole,” Nidet said.

Workplace deaths in Cambodia increased by more than 25 per cent from 2011 to 2012, according to figures from the National Social Security Fund released this year.

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