Two Repairmen Killed After Air Conditioner Explodes at Casino

Two repairmen were killed on Saturday after an air conditioner they were fixing exploded at a Thai-owned casino in Pailin province, officials said Sunday.

The victims—Srey Chanra, 29, and Soeun Piseth, 26—had been called to the Pailin Flamingo Casino Hotel & Entertainment Complex in Sala Krao district’s Stung Kach commune to fix a number of floor-standing air conditioners that had broken down, according to commune police chief Chum Voeun.

Employees of the CTS air conditioner repair company in Phnom Penh, the men were at work on one of the machines in a covered courtyard at the casino at about 9:45 a.m. Saturday when it exploded, Mr. Voeun said.

Both men suffered severe burns, he said, adding that Mr. Chanra died at the scene and Mr. Piseth succumbed to his injuries on the way to a hospital in Thailand about an hour later.

“We are not sure of the specific reason for the accident yet, but we have concluded that the explosion was caused by the gas inside the air conditioner,” he said.

“It was a very strong explosion, like a grenade. All the windows nearby were shattered,” said deputy provincial police chief Iev Kimsien, who blamed the technicians for the accident.

“The accident was caused by the carelessness of the workers,” Mr. Kimsien said, adding that the Pailin Flamingo had nevertheless agreed to compensate their families. He said he did not know how much the casino intended to offer.

Sala Krao district police chief Nhik Thol said the victims’ families, both from Pursat province, came to collect the bodies at the casino on Saturday afternoon.

The Pailin Flamingo could not be reached for comment.

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