A 33-year-old farmer in Tbong Khmum province was killed Thursday when he dropped a Lon Nol-era artillery shell he was moving to a pile of similar unexploded ordnance (UXO) he had already collected, a local official said.
Chham Eath and his wife Ath Sophat, 21, had been clearing their cassava farm in Memot district’s Choam Kravien commune of brush shortly before 6:30 a.m. when the victim stopped to pick up the 120-mm shell and move it to a stack of three or four other shells he had amassed earlier that morning, according to Ul Keo, chief of the district council.
But Mr. Eath accidently dropped the heavy projectile and it exploded, killing him instantly and injuring his wife, who was about 7 meters away at the time, Mr. Keo said.
“The husband died on the spot when his intestines were torn out, while his wife broke her left femur,” he said, adding that Ms. Sophat was sent to the district referral hospital for treatment.
On Sunday, a 10-year-old girl was killed in Kompong Speu province when a piece of UXO detonated under the heat of a small brush fire she had been trying to extinguish.