Boy Falls Down Elevator Shaft at Health Clinic, Dies of Injuries

A 9-year-old boy died of his injuries after falling two stories down an elevator shaft on Tuesday at a health clinic in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district, police and the clinic’s director said Wednesday.

Tumnop Toek commune police chief Phorn Oun said the boy, Liu Wei Yue, was playing on Tuesday afternoon with a friend whose father was receiving treatment at the Polyclinic Hong En on Monireth Boulevard.

“The boys were frequently playing with the elevator and it accidentally malfunctioned,” he said. “The boy fell down the shaft when he tried to get into the elevator.”

Mr. Oun said that Liu Wei Yue suffered serious injuries to his head and chest and later died in hospital.

At the clinic Wednesday, its director, Chen Xin Hua, showed reporters security footage of the incident. The two boys can be seen going up and down the elevator and chasing each other through the hallways of the clinic.

At about 4:30 p.m., Liu Wei Yue comes running around a staircase on the second floor and excitedly pushes an elevator button. When the doors open, he steps inside and disappears.

Mr. Xin Hua said the elevator car had remained on the third floor.

“They might have pressed [the elevator’s buttons] too frequently and made it malfunction, and it did not stop at the proper floor,” he said.

After the fall, the security footage shows the boy’s friend and two staff members searching for him.

Liu Wei Yue was discovered at the bottom of the elevator shaft about an hour after he fell, according to time stamps on the footage.

“Nobody knew that the boy had fallen down the elevator,” Mr. Xin Hua said.

The director said one of his clinic’s ambulances transported Liu Wei Yue to Calmette Hospital, where he arrived at about 6:30 p.m. before being transferred to Kantha Bopha hospital, where he died of his injuries later in the night.

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