Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UXO used as fishing tool kills ex-KR soldier

UXO used as fishing tool kills ex-KR soldier

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A former Khmer Rouge soldier died instantly while trying to use a B40 RPG shell to make an explosive device for fishing. Ministry of Information

UXO used as fishing tool kills ex-KR soldier

A former Khmer Rouge soldier died instantly while trying to use a B40 RPG shell to make an explosive device for fishing. Police said an error in his technique caused an explosion.

The accident occurred on the evening of March 6 in Trapaing Tav commune’s O Sramor village of Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district.

Trapaing Tav commune police chief Pheng Huot identified the victim as Srey Chien, a 66-year-old resident of O Sramor village.

Huot told The Post on March 8 Chien had been warned several times about the dangers of illegal modification of unexploded ordnance (UXO) into explosives for fishing in rivers and lakes.

“Most of the UXO he used to make fish shells were 60mm and B40 – those were the UXOs he collected from his field,” Huot said.

Anlong Veng district police chief Sim Vannak told The Post that after the incident, police inspected the scene and found that Chien’s body had been torn into three pieces by the powerful explosion and each piece was located more than 10m away from the others.

Vannak said that near the portion of Chien’s body consisting of his upper torso and head, police found some pieces of the B40 shell. They also found another 60mm shell casing next to the back porch of the victim’s house, which was the area where he often processed explosives.

“It is fortunate that no other members of his family were injured or killed in this tragic accident,” Vannak said.

According to Vannak, since 2002 around 10 people in Trapaing Tav commune have been killed or injured while attempting to modify UXOs – mostly the 60mm shells that were originally used in mortars. The victims usually used a hammer and other tools to modify them and either set them off for fun or for fishing in the river.

Located in the north of Cambodia and once known as the Khmer Rouge’s final stronghold – as well as the place where Pol Pot met his end – Anlong Veng district was one of the most intense battlefields over the final decades of the civil war.

Much of the farmland in the district remains contaminated with mines and UXO which are still causing injuries and deaths.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth