Guard Dies After Vietnamese Oil Tanker Crashes Into Jetty

A man was killed on Tuesday afternoon when a Vietnamese oil tanker carrying fuel for local oil company Kampuchea Tela smashed into a jetty in Preah Sihanouk province, causing part of the structure to crumble and sending the man plunging into the sea, police said.

The victim, Sem Vannak, 18, was a guard working for Tela, and was manning a post at the end of the jetty—which is owned by the firm—when the oil tanker hit, according to provincial police chief Chuon Narin.

“A tanker came from Vietnam to transport oil for the Tela company on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and hit the jetty, destroying about 500 meters of it,” he said.

“A security guard died when his post fell in the water and his body hit the jetty.”

The pilots of the vessel, whom Mr. Narin named as Cambodian national Nuon Chanrith and Vietnamese national Nguyen Vulane, were detained for questioning overnight at the provincial police headquarters but released on Wednesday morning after investigating officers concluded that the incident was an accident caused by stormy weather.

Mr. Narin said the tanker did not spill any oil into the sea.

“It was an accident,” he said. “The two were not arrested because nature caused it. The company and the drivers will work out compensation for the victim’s family.”

However, Cheng Vuthy, the military police commander in Stung Hav district where the jetty is located, said the incident could have been avoided.

“I think the tanker drivers should know if a storm is coming—they should know not to get close to the jetty,” he said. “For now, use of the jetty has been suspended because the company will rebuild it.”

Representatives of Kampuchea Tela could not be reached for comment.

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