A teenage boy in Pursat province’s Krakor district was struck dead by lightning on Tuesday while sheltering under a tree from a thunderstorm that left three more children injured after lightning struck a house in a neighboring commune, police said Wednesday.
Suy Phearum, 17, had been tending his buffalo when lightning struck at 3:30 p.m. in Kbal Trach commune, according to district police chief Em Run.
“[He] died because he stood under the tree listening to music on his phone,” he said.
Half an hour later, he added, three children—Nhen Soteala, 9, Nhem Somaly, 11, and a 12-year-old boy were injured as they played under the awning of a house in Tnort Chum commune.
According to Keo Vy, cabinet chief for the National Committee for Disaster Management, lightning has killed 31 people so far this year while injuring 25 others.
“We cannot stop people being killed,” he said. “But we can inform them to protect themselves: During rain and thunderstorms, do not stand in the field…or shelter under a tree, and switch off telephones or any electronic equipment.”