Villagers digging up tree stumps to make furniture accidentally detonated an anti-personnel landmine in Oddar Meanchey province, killing a man and injuring his son and two others in the third fatal landmine explosion this year.
The man died instantly when the mine exploded at about 4 p.m. on Thursday at the foot of Dangrek mountain in Trapaing Prasat district, said Sun Bourann, the district’s military commander, on Friday.
“The villagers dug up the Beng trunk, then used a chainsaw to cut off its root, but hit the landmine buried next to the root and detonated it,” he said.
Chhay Poeun, 63, was killed and his 13-year-old son, Peng Sim, was hospitalized in critical condition with a head injury, Mr. Bourann said.
Yay Chantana, the director of Jayavarman VII Hospital in Siem Reap City, where the boy was being treated on Sunday, said shrapnel had been removed from his head.
“Now the victim is awake and begging to eat. He still remembers both of his sisters,” he said, adding that he would likely remain hospitalized for a month.
Ros Phean, 55, and his 18-year-old-son, Chhin Bunthoeun, sustained minor injuries to their legs and arms, and were discharged from Tomnup Dach Commune Health Center on Friday.
The area remains infested with anti-personnel landmines that were planted along the province’s border with Thailand in the 1980s. Last month, a 55-year-old deminer working with the NGO Halo Trust died in an explosion while attempting to clear a field of landmines laid by the Khmer Rouge in Pailin province.
(Additional reporting by Buth Kimsay)