vihear sour commune, Kandal Province – Three people were killed and two seriously injured Saturday when villagers suffering from skin rashes brought on from exposure to flood waters tried to extract powder from a 105 millimeter shell to reduce the itching.
The shell exploded and killed the three instantly. A 56-year-old man and his 21-year-old son had seen two other people successfully take powder from the same US-made shell to rub on their skin.
When they tried, both were killed along with a neighbor standing nearby.
The area was the scene of fighting between Lon Nol troops and Khmer Rouge forces in the early 1970s.
“I’m disappointed that some people do not watch TV or listen to the radio about not touching rockets or grenades or artillery,” said Kandal Province Judicial Police Chief Tom Vai.
“If they touch it, they will be killed.” Hang Vannara, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer for the Cambodian Mine Action Center, pointed out that 50 to 60 people could have been killed by such an explosion.
He again urged people to immediately report to commune authorities all explosives found.