Fire causes $1.5 mil in damage

2021-08-17 12:48:34

 Khmer Times/ August 3, 2021 


Virak Buntham Express continues to offer logistics services after a fire last Friday started by a faulty electrical circuit destroyed 23 buses and caused a total of $1.5 million in damage and one death.

Company director Sou Vireak told Khmer Times yesterday: “We will now focus on logistics as transportation services are still suspended due to the pandemic.”

“According to the expert, this fire was caused by an electrical circuit and the body that we found after the fire was controlled, was an ex-employee who perhaps caused the electrical error and slept in the bus,” he said, adding that all of the buses’ batteries were taken out so he might have gotten the electricity from outside of the bus for using a fan.

Vireak said he doesn’t have any plans to replace the burnt buses until transportation is back to normal.

Phnom Penh City Police spokesman Colonel San Sokseiha told Khmer Times that the fire at Virak Buntham’s bus depot in Phnom Penh city’s Chroy Changva district did not spread to the neighbouring properties.

The three-hour operation to extinguish the fire used 35 fire trucks that refilled water so many times it was equivalent to using 91 trucks.

“The police were trying hard to manage the operation after getting the report that a fire broke out, however, the fire was so powerful that it took time to fully control the situation,” Sokseiha said.

He added that the victim who died was Lim Chantharith, 24, from Kampot province.

His body was found after the operation finished and the cause of death is suspected to be suffocation due to smoke inhalation.

A Virak Butham Express driver, Baraing. told Khmer Times that people are coming to work as usual.

“All of the buses are parked at this main depot due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said, adding passengers no longer ride buses out of fear of spreading the disease.