Teenage Boy Suffocates Under Pile of Sand in Kompong Speu

A teenage boy was killed in Kompong Speu province’s Samraong Tong district on Wednesday when the roof of a small sand cave he was digging collapsed, causing him to suffocate, police and local officials said Thursday.

Sam Sak, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said the body of 15-year-old Yem Sienghai was found at about 8:30 p.m. by a group of children hunting for frogs near the rice field where the sand had been dumped.

“The boy was trapped from his ribs up to his head…and his nose and ears were filled with sand,” Mr. Sak said, adding that police suspect the weight of the loamy sand pinned the boy to the ground while he was in the process of excavating a cool place to lie down.

Chuob Voeun, chief of Sambou commune, where Yem Sienghai lived, said the boy likely sought solace in the sand after being scolded by his mother for taking his older brother’s hen to a cockfight—and losing.

Mr. Voeun said the boy’s mother caught him in the act of depluming the bird in preparation to cook it. “He might have been afraid of being hit by his brother and wanted to hide himself,” he added.

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