20 Soldiers Killed in Ammunition Explosion at Cambodian Military Base

Deadly ammunition explosion at Cambodian military base kills 20 soldiers, raising concerns over safety protocols. Prime Minister promises support for victims' families.

Ebenezer Mensah
New Update
20 Soldiers Killed in Ammunition Explosion at Cambodian Military Base

20 Soldiers Killed in Ammunition Explosion at Cambodian Military Base

On April 27, 2024, an ammunition explosion at a military base in Kampong Speu province, Cambodia killed 20 soldiers and wounded several others. The blast occurred on Saturday afternoon, destroying four buildings including three storage facilities and one work facility. It also damaged several military vehicles and 25 nearby civilian homes.

Prime Minister Hun Manet, who is also a four-star general and the army commander, expressed shock at the incident. "I am deeply shocked by the news of this explosion that caused many casualties," he said. The prime minister offered condolences to the soldiers' families and promised the government would pay for the funerals and provide compensation to those killed and injured.

The cause of the explosion is not immediately clear, but authorities believe the high temperatures in the region, which reached 39°C (102°F) on the day of the incident, may have contributed to the instability of the explosives, leading to a chain reaction. A nearby resident reported hearing a major explosion around 2:30 PM, followed by smaller blasts for about an hour.

Why this matters: The tragic incident highlights the risks associated with the storage and handling of ammunition, especially in areas prone to high temperatures. It also raises questions about safety protocols and infrastructure at military facilities in Cambodia.

Social media posts showed the extent of the damage, with pictures of a destroyed one-story building, broken windows in a nearby village, and injured soldiers receiving treatment at a hospital. Officials have not reported any ongoing threats in the base or surrounding areas, but heightened security and localized disruptions are likely around the blast site as authorities investigate.

Hun Manet, 45, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was elected as prime minister last year, succeeding his father Hun Sen, who had led Cambodia for 38 years. "The government will be fully responsible for the funerals and will provide compensation to the families of the deceased and injured," the prime minister said, vowing support for those affected by this devastating explosion.

Key Takeaways

  • Ammunition explosion at Cambodian military base kills 20 soldiers, injures others.
  • Prime Minister Hun Manet expresses shock, promises government support for victims' families.
  • High temperatures may have contributed to instability of explosives, leading to chain reaction.
  • Incident highlights risks of ammunition storage, raises questions about safety protocols.
  • Prime Minister vows full responsibility for funerals, compensation for deceased and injured.