One Step Beyond – Cambodia – People – Chey Sok
My accident happened while I was fishing. We took the boat, as usual, and when we arrived at the landing place, I climbed onto the riverbank, where I on a landmine. All that happened in January 1993. It happened in the Koh Kong Province where I usually go fishing in the river. My house is very far from that place. You must journey more than twenty kilometers to get there.
On that day, I noticed that the riverbank, where I always trawl, was covered with footprints. Since they weren't my footprints, I wondered if other people had been there. But I kept going because it was the place where I always threw my net, and it was cold and raining. I put the net into the river. Then I walked up the riverbank. There is a place where I usually stay while the net is in the river. So, I just threw out the net and went to take a rest. But on the way to that place – and I walked that way every day – I stepped on the mine. I walked along the river, and the mine blew up. It blew me up. I only heard a very low noise, like the tobacco in your cigarette crackling while you're smoking. Then I fell down.
All that happened at four o'clock in the afternoon, and it was already getting dark because it was raining. When I found myself lying on the ground, I realized that I had stepped on a landmine. I looked at my legs: one was fine, but when I looked at the other one, I saw that it had been torn off. I wasn't shocked or nervous at all. Right away, I tried to get my scarf to wrap the stump.
I didn't cry for help because my son was nearby. He was fifteen years old. After I wrapped my stump with the scarf, I took a string from the fishing net to fix it more tightly. When I had finished, I called to my son. He helped me into the boat and took me to the hospital.
I went fishing every day, and on that day I noticed those footprints. But I don't know who had laid the mine.