Cambodian man rescued after four days trapped in cave

A Cambodian man has been rescued after being trapped in a cave for four days whilst collecting bat droppings.

Sum Bora slipped between two rocks on Sunday while trying to retrieve his torch, police in the north-western province of Battambang said.

The 28-year-old, left without food or water, was found on Tuesday after his family began looking for him.

He was retrieved after a 10-hour operation involving 200 rescuers and is being treated at a local hospital.

“I had lost hope of staying alive and if I had a knife with me I’d have committed suicide,” Mr Bora said in a video, according to the Khmer Times newspaper.

The droppings – known as guano – can be used as fertiliser and are a lucrative commodity in Cambodia, one of South East Asia’s poorest countries.

Mr Bora was trapped inside the cave by Chakrai Mountain and was discovered by a friend who often joined him to collect guano.

“We’re both small-built and can easily fit into narrow passages, so my friend was able to crawl through another passage to reach me inside the cave,” he said. Rescuers later arrived at the scene, but were initially unable to extract him because the cave’s entrance was too narrow.

An elite rescue team was flown in by helicopter to assist with the operation, and Mr Bora was recovered on Wednesday after parts of the cave were destroyed to clear enough space.

In a statement, Mr Bora’s wife, Koeun Sothea, said he was being treated for head, knee and chest injuries.

Ms Sothea also thanked Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for sending the recue team and for donating $2,500 (£2,000) to their family.

Police chief Sareth Viseth told local media that, to prevent any similar incidents, climbing Chakrai Mountain is now banned.

 

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