Anti-Tank Mine Injures Seven Workers in Banteay Meanchey

Seven rubber plantation workers were injured yesterday in Ban­teay Meanchey’s Svay Chek district when the truck they were in struck an anti-tank mine and ex­ploded, district police officers said.

“This is the first time workers at this rubber plantation have been in such an accident caused by anti-tank mines,” said Phin Sopheak, deputy Svay Chek district police chief.

Local company Ngor Heng Com­pany Rubber owns the plantation, which is in Slakram commune, said Mr Sopheak.

“Three of the workers were seriously injured, two fell unconscious and one was critically in­jured with broken bones in his right leg and right hand,” said Slakram commune police chief Thet Loeuy, ad­ding that a seventh worker had re­ceived minor shrapnel wounds.

“When their truck hit the anti-tank mine, there was a strong ex­plo­sion about 8 to 10 meters into the air,” Mr Loeuy said, adding that there was serious damage to the truck.

The critically injured worker and the two who had been knocked un­conscious were sent to the Cambo­dian-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Mongkul Borei district, he said.

“In my Slakram commune, every so often, an anti-tank mine will be ac­cidentally exploded by our farmers plowing their fields or if they are driving tractors that hit the mines,” Mr Loeuy said. “Slakram commune is too close to the Cam­bo­dian-Thai border, only about 5 km away, and was a former battlefield in the civil war in 1980.”

“CMAC [Cambodian Mine Ac­tion Center] only demines on the main roads,” said Ouk Keo Rota­nak, spokesman for Banteay Mean­chey province. “The problem here was the rubber plantation is very young and the rainy season had made the ground very soft.”


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