Soldier Killed by Lightning Strike in Preah Vihear

Lightning struck and killed a 57-year-old soldier harvesting cassava in a heavy storm in Preah Vihear province, police said yesterday.

Seng Thy, a soldier in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Intervention Division 3, was working on a farm for extra cash during his free time when the sky began to darken, said Hak Yuth, deputy police chief of Choam Ksan district.

When the storm finally hit and heavy rain started to fall, Seng Thy ran under a tree that was struck by lightning, electrocuting him at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, he said. “If the victim had stayed out of the rain in the cottage with the other workers, he might not have died,” Mr. Yuth said.

After Seng Thy was hit, the other workers rushed out to help him, but he died at the scene as a result of serious injuries, Mr. Yuth added.

Keo Vy, spokesman of the National Committee for Disaster Management, said three people had died of lightning strikes in the first two months of the year, compared to just one during the same period last year. Over the whole of last year, 108 people died and 105 were injured in such strikes, Mr. Vy said.

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