Thai engineers held for manslaughter

Tboung Khmum: Tboung Khmum Provincial Court yesterday charged two Thai engineers for causing the death of a villager during a rock mining operation gone wrong.

Major Prum Sopheak, deputy chief of Tboung Khmum district police, said Prirat Mathaworn and Ketseni Bunma, engineers with China Road and Bride Citation Company based in the province, were charged by the court with manslaughter. If convicted, the two Thai nationals could face up to three years in prison with a fine of about $1,500 each.

Maj Sopheak said on Friday at about 9am, both men were supervising rock mining operation using explosives in Chup commune.

As they detonated explosives, chunks of rock were sent flying, hitting the villager in the head roughly 300 meters away from the work site.

“The victim died immediately near the site,” Maj Sopheak said. “Villagers alerted local police for intervention.”

“The two Thai nationals were arrested the next day in Tboung Khmum district,” he added.

According to Maj Sopheak, the Thai engineers were careless. He said they should have had measures set in place to ensure safety.

He added that many villagers in the area have said that sounds of explosions caused disturbance.

Maj Sophea noted that China Road and Bride Citation Company was told to reduce the sound of explosions.

Representatives of the company could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The accused are now in the provincial prison pending a trial.