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Families Seek Money After Derailment

Local authorities are helping four families seek compensation from Royal Railways of Cambodia, after their houses were destroyed in a Phnom Penh train derailment Saturday.

Im Narin, 58, saw the front half of her small wooden home destroyed when a train pulling two empty fuel tankers jumped the tracks in Tuol Kork district Saturday morning.

"We the victims request the Royal Railways of Cambodia authority to pay compensation totaling $8,000 for our destroyed homes and materials," she said Wednesday, standing between her ruined house and the railroad tracks that pass through this impoverished area.

Sim Tang, 63, whose house was flattened in the derailment, complained that the train had sped through the neighborhood on an unsafe track. The railways were responsible for the damage, he said.

"The railway must pay for the damage, because the accident happened from the train's technical problem," said Vith Darith, first deputy chief of Boeung Kak I commune, who is preparing documentation for the victims' compensation request. "We will try more and more to get compensation for the victims."

Sokhom Pheakakvoan Muny, director general of Royal Railways of Cambodia, said the authority was investigating the accident and the role of the train engineer.