Police Investigate Woman’s Fall from Prince Central Plaza

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Prince Central Plaza in Phnom Penh’s Tonle Bassac commune on May 16, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)
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Phnom Penh police are investigating the death of a woman who fell from the 22nd floor of the Prince Central Plaza building early morning Monday in an incident that has shocked nearby vendors and residents.

According to police, the death happened around 1 a.m. this morning at the Prince building in Chamkarmon district’s Tonle Bassac commune, on Norodom Blvd.

Municipal police spokesperson San Sokseyha said investigators were still looking into the death, though there were no immediate suspicions.

“The autopsy team is looking into the cause of death,” Sokseyha said. “The preliminary report has no suspicions. When authorities arrived, it largely appeared to be suicide but we have not concluded anything yet.”

Identification documents showed that the woman was Vietnamese.

Vendors nearby said they had seen the woman’s corpse, including one man who claimed the woman had fallen in only her underwear. Police had not immediately arrived to retrieve the body, he said. “People were scared by it,” he said.

“I was shocked and my hands shook,” said another vendor, adding that people had been crying over the body.

Many residents of the building appeared to be Vietnamese and Chinese, the vendor said. She had previously seen people in the plaza carrying around bundles of $100 bills, she added.

A security guard said the body had landed only about 5 meters from where he was sitting. “When I heard the sound, bang, I rushed to see it. I felt I didn’t want to run, but I couldn’t control it and I ran and yelled.”

A woman who picked up the phone for Prince Central Plaza said she was only in sales, and would not provide another contact before hanging up. Prince Group chairman Chen Zhi is a naturalized Cambodian citizen who has donated millions to the state.

Sokseyha, the police spokesperson, added that another woman had also fallen from a separate building on the compound on January 3. The woman was Chinese and the death was considered a suicide, he said. Foreign residents could struggle to find help for personal problems, he added.

“It’s personal issues, and sometimes when they face issues, they don’t seek out a solution — they have impulsive thoughts.”

Experts have previously said that suicide is a public health issue, and people should be willing to listen to those who struggle without judgement.

Mental health resources in Cambodia:

Clothes hang from balconies on the Prince Group's Central Plaza building in Phnom Penh on May 16, 2022. (Hy Chhay/VOD)
Clothes hang from balconies on the Prince Group’s Central Plaza building in Phnom Penh on May 16, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)

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