Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two killed, eight injured in fires over Pchum Ben

Two killed, eight injured in fires over Pchum Ben

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A fire destroys a house in Tuol Kork district, Phnom Penh on Sunday. POLICE

Two killed, eight injured in fires over Pchum Ben

Two people were killed and eight injured in fires over the full 15 days of the Pchum Ben festival, with the 30 blazes recorded this year, up on last year’s 12, the National Police’s Fire Department said on Saturday.

Nobody died as a result of fires during last year’s Pchum Ben, Fire Department director Neth Vantha told The Post on Monday.

A Fire Department report said blazes destroyed two market stalls, one level of a rice factory and 31 homes, while another was damaged.

Fifteen fires were caused by faulty electrics, three by gas explosions and two by children. Four blazes were started deliberately by homeowners, the report stated.

Others were caused by candles and incense sticks, ignited petrol and blocked flues, while one started after a crash involving a car and a motorbike.

The cause of two fires was unknown.

“The 30 fires this year represents an increase of 12 compared to the same period last year. Seven fires were reported during the three days of the Pchum Ben holiday, an increase of four on last year,” the report stated.

Vantha said carelessness was a major contributor to fires in the Kingdom “The number of fires increases one year to the next. Fires generally result from people’s thoughtlessness. The implementation of preventive measures is also still ineffective, with most of the 30 fires that occurred over Pchum Ben resulting from faulty electrics,” Vantha said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

San Chey, the executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, agreed that Cambodians generally seemed to pay little attention to fire prevention, with the number of blazes increasing during the main national holidays.

“As they live in a country where earthquakes are unlikely, Cambodian people seem to be careless when it comes to implementing preventive measures regarding fires. They often do not check their house is safe before leaving, which results in a lot cases where fire breaks out due to unattended candles and incense sticks,” Chey told The Post.

He said that authorities’ ability to tackle fires was also limited by a lack of human resources and fire engines.

A television and social media campaign should be launched to educate people on basic fire prevention, Chey added.

Over the 10 months from November last year to September this year, 13 people were killed in 596 fires nationwide, with 104 injured, while 571 houses and 318 market stalls were completely destroyed, the Fire Department report stated.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • Manet touches down in Beijing for high-level meetings

    Prime Minister Hun Manet arrived in Beijing on September 14 for his first official visit to China, where he is slated to attend the 20th China-ASEAN Expo and meet other leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Upon his arrival, Manet laid a wreath at the Monument

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former