Explosion at Cambodian Military Base Kills 20 Soldiers, Devastates Surrounding Area

Kampong Speu, Cambodia – A devastating chain reaction explosion at a military base in southwestern Cambodia has left 20 soldiers dead and several others wounded, as reported by Prime Minister Hun Manet. The explosion, which occurred on a Saturday afternoon, resulted in significant damage to nearby homes, with reports of windows breaking and tiles falling due to the impact of the blast.

In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Hun Manet expressed deep shock upon learning about the explosion at the base in Kampong Speu province. While the exact cause of the explosion remains unclear, images from the scene depicted severely damaged buildings, soldiers receiving medical treatment, and homes with visible signs of destruction, including roofs with holes.

A villager residing nearby recounted the harrowing experience of hearing the loud explosion, causing his house to shake and tiles to fall off the roof. The aftermath of the blast included the destruction of four buildings – three storage facilities and one working structure – along with damage to several military vehicles and 25 homes belonging to villagers in the area.

The incident took place amidst an extended heat wave affecting the region, with temperatures in the province reaching a high of 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) on the day of the explosion. While high temperatures are not typically known to trigger ammunition detonation, they can compromise the stability of explosives over time, potentially leading to the risk of a chain reaction explosion.

Hun Manet extended his condolences to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives in the explosion, assuring that the government would cover funeral expenses and provide compensation to those who were injured. Security around the base remained tight as guards restricted access to the media, while villagers in the vicinity sought refuge in the aftermath of the blast.

The swift and tragic events at this military base underscore the inherent dangers faced by those in service, emphasizing the importance of safety protocols and precautions to prevent such catastrophic incidents in the future. The community continues to grapple with the aftermath of the explosion, as authorities investigate the cause and assess the extent of the damage inflicted by this devastating chain reaction.