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Fires destroy vehicles in Phnom Penh and stalls in Banteay Meanchey

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A petrol station on fire in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district on Sunday. CCJ

Fires destroy vehicles in Phnom Penh and stalls in Banteay Meanchey

Two separate fires on Sunday and Monday destroyed a number of cars and motorbikes in Phnom Penh and 67 market stalls in Banteay Meanchey province.

Meanwhile, authorities have said fires claimed 16 lives and damaged 374 houses nationwide in the last five months.

Net Vatha, the Ministry of Interior’s director of fire emergency and rescue, told The Post that the fire in the capital started on Sunday evening at Lim Long petrol station on Veng Sreng Boulevard in Por Sen Chey district’s Chaom Chao II commune.

He said the fire was caused by an electric fault as a tanker pumped fuel into the petrol station.

Vatha said seven cars, five motorbikes and spare part stores measuring 600sqm were completely destroyed in the blaze.

In a separate incident, Vatha said 67 stalls at O’Ambel market in Banteay Meanchey province’s Sisophon town were destroyed by a fire caused by an electrical malfunction in a lamppost junction box at 5:30am on Monday.

“Although the two fires did not result in any deaths or injuries, they caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to residents’ properties,” he said.

Vatha said from the beginning of December until the end of April, there have been 344 fires across the Kingdom, killing 16 people, injuring 32 others and damaging 374 houses.

Phnom Penh was worst hit, followed by Siem Reap, while Tbong Khmum province had the fewest fires, Vatha said.

He said 41 per cent of the fires were the result of electrical malfunctions, while 37 per cent were due to gas cookers and burning incense.

In 22 per cent of the cases, the cause was still unknown and authorities are continuing to investigate, Vatha said.

He called on petrol station owners and owners of all establishments, from hotels to factories, to pay increased attention to the risk of fires.

He said it is vital to have adequate fire-fighting equipment and to always be vigilant and follow the expert guidance contained in sub-decrees 131 and 87.

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