Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ambulance driver in Ratanakkiri dismissed for dropping off corpse

Ambulance driver in Ratanakkiri dismissed for dropping off corpse

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The woman’s body was dropped off at the O’roling bridge near Khuon village in Ratanakkiri province. Photo supplied

Ambulance driver in Ratanakkiri dismissed for dropping off corpse

The Ratanakkiri Provincial Administration has dismissed an ambulance driver from the provincial referral hospital for dropping off a woman’s corpse halfway instead of delivering it to her family.

Deputy provincial governor Nhem Sam Oeun said an investigation determined that it was solely the driver’s fault and not the hospital’s.

Sam Oeun said the driver was a contract employee and a review of his performance indicated that he had performed his work poorly and had drawn complaints from many patients prior to this incident.

“We have decided to fire him,” he said.

Provincial health department director Ung Ratana declined to comment, referring reporters to an official press statement.

“[The decision] does not rest with me,” he said.

According to the provincial health department’s March 17 press release, the hospital dispatched an ambulance driven by Un Bunleng to transport the body of a 31-year-old woman named Kim Mak to her home in Phak Nam village of Veun Sai district’s Koh Peak commune.

When the ambulance reached the O’roling bridge near Khuon village, Bunleng dropped the woman’s body off and informed her family about it. The corpse was then retrieved and transported by motorbike to her home.

“This was all caused by one individual. The driver did not follow the instructions he was given. The provincial health department deeply regrets that this has happened and we offer our sincere apologies to the woman’s family,” said the press statement.

Mong Vichet, acting executive director of the NGO Highlanders Association, deplored the incident, saying the dead had a right to be treated with dignity.

He noted however that the incident may have been due to a cultural misunderstanding related to indigenous people’s traditions regarding the handling of corpses.

“I think maybe the driver misunderstood our tradition restricting corpses from village areas, so he dropped the body off halfway.

“There is a tradition that corpses are not allowed in the villages, but they do not punish the family of the deceased person over it. But he may have thought he was acting according to our traditions as indigenous people,” he explained.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio