A man was killed and seven others were injured Wednesday night when fireworks marking the 10-year anniversary of King Norodom Sihamoni’s coronation misfired, sending shrapnel toward revelers in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district, officials said.
The fireworks were launched from the bank of the Tonle Sap river opposite the Royal Palace at about 7:15 p.m. as part of the close of festivities.
“One died. Seven were injured, two seriously,” said Yoeun Chantha, deputy chief of Chroy Changva commune police, adding that the seriously injured victim was sent to Calmette Hospital while the others sought treatment at a local clinic.
“The person who died was standing very far from the fireworks canisters,” said deputy police municipal chief Chuon Narin. He explained that a cluster of faulty metal canisters exploded into pieces and sent shrapnel flying toward the group.
“We are investigating why they broke apart,” he said.
Suy Chamnap, a Chroy Changva commune clerk, said the incident occurred at 7:20 p.m., as the group was standing about 100 meters away from the fireworks.
He identified the man who was killed as Nakry Darou, 23, from Kandal province’s Koh Thom district, and said that the man had been struck in the chest by a piece of metal.
At Calmette Hospital, Nhel Makara, a guard posted in front of the emergency room, confirmed that a person with a serious leg injury from the incident was being treated inside.
You Hamly, 15, was also among those injured.
“When it exploded, the metal flew and hit my leg. But before it hit me, it had already hit another man’s leg,” he said. “I was lucky that he was standing in front of me.”
Chin Touch, a security guard at the Sokha Hotel on the Chroy Changva peninsula, said he was standing about 300 meters away from the fireworks, which were being set off by soldiers.
“The shockwave blew our bodies away when the metal exploded,” he said.