Two Die After Landslide At Digging Site

Two men died in Pailin province on Saturday after being buried beneath a landslide caused by a hydraulic excavator digging too deeply into the side of a hill, police said on Sunday.

Chea Chandin, the provincial police chief, said the operator of the excavator, an 18-year-old he named only as Chhiv, was digging at a site on the bottom of a hill in Pailin City’s O’Tavao commune while local villager Thy Ratha, 20, looked on.

At about 6 p.m., an upper ridge on the hill collapsed, engulfing both men. “He [Chhiv] scraped the lower part too deeply so the upper part fell down,” Mr. Chandin said.

The operator’s body was recovered later that evening, while Thy Ratha’s was recovered early on Sunday, he said.

Keut Sothea, the provincial governor, confirmed the deaths and said the site had been temporarily shut down pending a safety inspection. “We told them to stop. We will study and find ways to guarantee safety,” he said.

Mr. Sothea added that the carelessness of the operator and owner of the excavation firm, who he identified as Chhun Chhang, caused the incident.

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