Two Dead in Landslide

Source: Khmer Times

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Rescue workers recover one of the bodies buried under soil. Supplied

Two construction workers, one a teenager, died in a landslide on Saturday night as they were excavating a mountain in Pailin province’s Pailin town, according to police.

Provincial police officer Vorn Veasna said the pair was operating an excavator and a truck carrying soil when the landslide happened.

The bodies of both victims, Chheay, 19, and Thy Ratha, 20, were buried under the rubble, with a search and rescue team only managing to retrieve the second body yesterday morning.

“At 5pm, the soil fell on the excavator and on the truck, killing two people working in the excavation area in Pailin town’s O’Taray commune,” Mr. Veasna said, adding that both vehicles were buried under the rubble.

“The truck and the excavator along with the two bodies were buried in the soil. Last night at 7pm we managed to dig out one body and this morning at 8am, we dug and found the other one,” he added yesterday.

The families of both victims promptly collected their bodies for their funerals.

Mr. Veasna noted that the cause of the landslide was likely due to the fact that the pair were incorrectly excavating the area, but did not say if the weather played a part.

“Based on our observation of the scene, there was a technical error in the way they were excavating the soil, resulting in the soil falling on the excavator and the truck,” he said.

No action will be taken against the employer of the two victims, Mr. Veasna said, adding that they were still awaiting a decision from provincial authorities about the compensation for the victims’ families.

“We are not experts in that. The provincial police chief and provincial governor also went to the area and are looking into it,” he said.

Last month, three explosives technicians, including a father and son, died at a stone quarry in Banteay Meanchey province after being crushed by falling rocks in a landslide which police blamed on recent heavy rain.

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