A 24-year-old man who was believed to be one of the 353 people killed in the Nov 22 stampede on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich bridge resurfaced at his family’s home in Kandal province on Wednesday, according to officials.
Su Sokha appeared in Sa’ang district’s Sa’ang Phnom commune nearly one month after his parents identified a dead man at Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital as their son, said Kandal provincial police chief Iv Chamroeun.
“Their son looked very similar to the dead victim, so doctors agreed to take the dead body for cremation to their village,” Mr Chamroeun said. “Their son is still alive, and he went home on Dec 22 and caused an uproar in the village.”
Mr Sokha had attended the first two days of the Water Festival but not the third, according to Mr Chamroeun, which is when the stampede occurred. He works as an electrician in Phnom Penh but only comes home once a month and has no phone, he said.
“The parents who found their son at home were very happy,” Mr Chamroeun said, adding that officials were trying to identify the dead man, who they believe may have lived in Prey Veng province.
About $13,250 had been donated for the victim’s family but had yet to be handed out, Mr Chamroeun said.
Kandal provincial governor Chhun Sirun said officials had been sent to determine the identity of the dead man.
“I have sent our social working group to work out this confusion about the dead victim and to seek the real victim’s parents,” Mr Sirun said.
Prum Vannak, chief of the social working committee in Kandal province, said he was heading the group.
“We spread this information across to other provinces and appealed for them to send us the victims’ identities,” Mr Vannak said, adding that the ashes of the victim were still at the house of Mr Sokha’s family.
Minister of Social Affairs Ith Sam Heng declined to comment by phone, asking that questions be sent to his office.