Phsar Olympic Roof Collapse Injures Two Men

Falling cement from the roof of Phsar Olympic injured two people, one critically, over the weekend, officials and witnesses said Sunday.

Var Narin, 45, a motorcycle taxi driver, remained in critical condition with a head injury in Cal­mette hospital, doctors at the hospital and Phsar Olympic Chief Pa Ponna said. Another man was injured slight­ly from the falling debris and has already been treated and released, he said.

The incident, which occurred around 8 am Saturday, has left market-goers worried about the market’s imminent collapse, people at the market said.

The falling concrete panicked the crowd at the market, one witness said Sunday. “I saw Var Narin standing and calling for passengers at the market, and then I heard the sound of the cement falling down. It hit Var Narin’s head and he fell to the ground. The spot was all bloody and both the buyers and sellers went into chaos,” motorcycle taxi driver Chuon Vesna, 29, said.

Var Narin remained unconscious Sunday afternoon and was under emergency care, doctors at the hospital said.

Phsar Olympic was built by the Thai Boon Rong company in 1994, but officials say the building is already weakened in some places. Its vendors complain that rains make the roof and ceilings leak and say the company has ignored their warnings.

Company officials could not be reached for comment Sunday. Both victims of the falling concrete would be compensated, Pa Ponna said. Authorities Sunday had moved in to repair the damage and try and prevent it from happening again, he said.

“Since last night, we have been knocking down a fragile ceiling and a weak wall,” Pa Ponna said Sunday. Phnom Penh’s Munici­pal Urbanization Depart­ment ordered the demolition, Pa Ponna added.

 

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