One of five 50-by-15-meter billboards on the Chroy Changva peninsula in Phnom Penh partially collapsed yesterday morning during a thunderstorm, raising concerns with some residents about the safety of the giant signs.
Two of the 10 poles supporting the damaged sign appear to have snapped in two, and yesterday morning they dangled from the twisted sign that once informed the entire riverside about a Japanese bathroom materials manufacturer.
While other signs still stood after the storm, a worker welded strips of metal to strengthen a pole on another billboard.
Businesses on the peninsula and the riverside strongly criticized the billboards when Moon Media Co erected them in November, but residents yesterday expressed more concern about their safety as the rainy season approaches.
“All my family were so scared, afraid of the pole collapsing on our house. We heard the loud sound of [metal] falling. We ran out of the house while it was slighly raining. We went to hide behind the house,” said Ngin Sochet, a 31-year-old whose family lives directly across the street from the billboard. “All the billboards don’t have a strong foundation.”
Kwan San, owner of Moon Media, which owns the billboards, declined to comment on the matter yesterday.
On Neang, the municipal cabinet chief, last year said that he was not concerned about the billboards falling, but declined yesterday to comment on the damage.
Neth Vantha, chief of Phnom Penh municipal fire brigade, said the responsibility for the safety of the billboards did not lie with the fire brigade.
“We are not in charge of security for these billboards because we do not have enough equipment for rescue,” he said.
Chrek Soklin, deputy director of V Trust properties, raised concerns about residents of the apartment building near the partially destroyed billboard, that his company manages, and other residents who could be injured if another billboards falls.
“If that happens because of the wind, it could hurt the people walking down the street,” he said.