Man beheaded in fireworks accident

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A 50-year-old man was beheaded on Thursday in a fireworks accident in Takeo province’s Bati district. Police

A 50-year-old man was beheaded on Thursday in a fireworks accident in Takeo province’s Bati district.

Bati deputy police chief Khuth Lou identified the victim as Keo Chhin, a fireworks maker living in Kandoeng commune.

Chhin had been making fireworks used in traditional ceremonies for years, having learned the trade from his parents, Lou said.

He already suffered a fireworks accident a few years ago but did not sustain any injuries at that time.

On Thursday morning, while his wife was at the market and his children were in school, the victim started working in his workshop as usual. At about 9am, a loud explosion was heard across the area. When villagers came to the source of the sound, they found the headless body of the victim.

“Police went in to examine the body. The man had mixed explosive powder using the wrong technique, and it exploded, killing him on the spot,” Lou said, adding that the victim was alone at the time.

Lou said there are other workshops making fireworks in the district without a permit.

He said the authorities have tried to educate people about the dangers of handling fireworks and explosive materials and have banned children from entering workshops that produce fireworks.

Kraing Khnong commune police chief Nuth Phuong said the explosion occurred when Chhin hit the tube he was working on with a hard object to compact the explosive powder.