About an hour away from Battambang City, a large explosion was heard from within a five-mile radius of the accident. A huge grain harvesting truck carrying tons of rice was blown up and split into two, killing one and leaving two in critical conditions. Many vehicles drive on that particular dirt road, but they apparently were not heavy enough to trigger the anti-tank landmine that was unknowingly buried underneath it.
The explosion instantly killed the rice field owner, who was sitting in the truck’s front passenger seat. The 30-year old farmer had just bought the farm a few years ago, and leaves behind a three-year old daughter and a wife who is three months pregnant. Two other men were riding with him that morning, the truck driver and his friend. These fortunate survivors were immediately taken to the World Mate Emergency Hospital.
Mr. Rik Sareoum, who is 27 years old, suffered a broken arm, a broken back, and some minor head trauma. Mr. Do Sinoun, who is 30 years old, sustained a broken thigh bone. The blast catapulted him out of the truck and, luckily, he landed on mud. He was further saved by his helmet, which he providentially wore that day for protection ― not from the dangers of the road, but from the dusty wind.
Both men can hardly believe they are still alive, and they are very grateful for the service and care of the hospital staff. They have noted how clean the hospital is and how clean the sheets are that they are sleeping on. They have also expressed gratitude for the clean hospital clothes they were given and for the friendly staff who attended to their needs. Once healed, they hope to go back to work as regular farmers, but they do not ever want to drive a grain harvesting vehicle again.
This story was published with permission from the patients mentioned in it.