24 Oct 2009

Family killed in bomb accident

PHNOM PENH - A CAMBODIAN man accidentally killed himself, his pregnant wife and young daughter as he attempted to remove explosives from a bomb he had scavenged for metal, police said on Saturday.

They said that Mr Leng Hatha's 39-year-old wife, who was six months pregnant, and his five-year-old daughter were killed in the blast at their home in southern Kampot province on Thursday evening. Mr Leng Hatha died the next day from his injuries in hospital.

'It happened because the husband was trying to pound the bombshell to take out the explosives,' deputy provincial police chief In Chiva told AFP.

He said the man earned money from selling metal from unexploded bombs and more than one hundred bombs remained inside his house.

'He had a device to find mines and bombshells, so he could find many,' Mr In Chiva said, adding that Mr Leng Hatha had previously been jailed for the activity.

Cambodia, one of the world's most heavily mined countries, is littered with unexploded ordnance from nearly three decades of civil war and the secret US bombing of Cambodia in the Vietnam War. But many people in the impoverished kingdom continue to risk their lives by searching for the metal scraps to sell.

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