National Police reports rise in fire incidents

2020-09-08 12:49:24

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Four are found dead after a fire broke out at a gas shop at the capital’s Street 63 last week. Fire Fighter Cambodia

The National Police reported nearly 500 fires occurred across the country during the first half of the year, marking a steady rise in such incidents over the past three years.

Major General Neth Vantha, director of the Interior Ministry’s fire department, said yesterday that the fires took the lives of 11 people, injured 28 others and caused extensive damage to 514 houses and another 225 structures.

The primary causes of the fires pointed to electrical malfunction, accounting for 41 percent of the cases, and neglected incense sticks and candles, equivalent to 39 percent.

According to the Fire Department, there were 429 fire incidents in the Kingdom during the first six months of last year, equivalent to an increase by 78 cases from the same period in 2018. Last year’s cases resulted in 56 casualties, 10 of whom died, and damaged 418 properties.

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Firefighters attempt to put out a fire in Phnom Penh. Fire Fighter Cambodia

With the rise in figures, Maj Gen Vantha appealed to all citizens to increase caution by keeping flammable liquids and materials away from ignition sources and unplugging all electrical devices, including appliances, after use and before leaving the house.

Fire extinguishers, he said, must also be kept at homes and workplaces in case of emergency.

While Phnom Penh and the provinces of Siem Reap and Kandal this year topped the list for the highest number of fires, Koh Kong, Oddar Meanchey and Tboung Khmum provinces ranked last with the least number of cases, said Maj Gen Vantha. 

Som Kanika / Khmer Times