A gas leak at a house in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district yesterday caused an explosion that killed a 7-month-old girl and injured her parents, according to local authorities.
Speaking from his hospital bed yesterday, the father, Dos Chandy, 27, said that the child, Dos Dinika, was on a hammock near him when he was refilling a gas bottle from a larger tank, while the mother, Sun Somaly, 25, was doing laundry in the bathroom. Detecting a leak from the connecting tube, he rushed to turn off the tap but before he could reach it, flames filled the room. He added that neighbours, upon seeing the fire, helped to put it out.
“The tube broke and gas was leaking, but there was no flame nearby. [Perhaps] the gas caught fire itself. At the time, I was burned all over my body and I was shocked, so I rushed out and could not go back to help my baby ... I did not know whether she was dead or alive,” he said.
Chandy, who runs a gas-filling business, was helping relatives refill their tanks on the day of the incident. According to Dr Say Bunvoadth, head of cosmetology at Preah Kossamak Hospital, Chandy suffered burns to 63 percent of his body surface area, while Somaly suffered burns to 30 percent.
He added that burn injuries, despite appearing to be external, can be serious as they can cause internal damage. “The patient’s condition changes all the time, so [we] cannot tell if it is serious or not. However, if [Chandy] pulls through over the next two days, he will be alright,” Bunvoadth said.