Phnom Penh gas tank explosion kills one and injures two

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A gas tank explosion killed one man and injured two others in a rented room in Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune, Phnom Penh on November 23. Police

A gas tank explosion killed one man and injured two others in a rented room in Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune, Phnom Penh on November 23.

The victim was cooking and the explosion caused a fire, according to the police.

Teuk Thla commune police chief Sok Sophal said on November 24 the dead victim was identified as Prim Sokha, a 21-year-old construction contractor from Srei Santhor district, Kampong Cham.

The injured are his twin brother Prim Khinh, 21, and a nephew. Both sustained leg injuries.

The three had returned from work as normal. They then opened the gas tank to cook food for dinner, according to the policeman.

Before they could eat, the tank exploded sending smoke billowing throughout the room. According to Sophal, Sokha and the nephew managed to escape the blaze. Sokha could not find his brother and searched for him in their room. In the process, he suffered severe burns. The other brother and the nephew sustained injuries and were sent to a nearby hospital.

Sophal said fire trucks responded and put out the fire. The body of the deceased was handed over to relatives for a funeral.

Phnom Penh municipal deputy police chief Chheang Phanara said police have been educating and advising people and gas tank sellers in vulnerable areas, especially in construction areas.

“We held a meeting to educate and advise people and gas tank sellers because the dry and summer season will arrive soon which usually means an increase in fires. We want people to know how to keep and use gas tanks properly to prevent fires,” Phanara said.

The incident in question was accidental and the result of a motorbike parked too close to the kitchen, he said, adding that the gasoline from the motorbike sparked the fire.

Neth Vantha, director of the National Police’s Department of Fire Prevention, Extinguishing and Rescue said on November 24 said his department is constantly advising people about fire risk.

“We continuously educate sellers of gas tanks, but we don’t know how much attention they pay,” he said.