The helicopter that Hok Lundy was traveling in reportedly went down due to bad weather, in Svay Rieng province in the southeast part of the country, reports said. Three others, including the pilot, co-pilot and a military general were also killed, an Information Ministry spokesperson said.
Hun Sen had reportedly attended celebrations in the capital Phnom Penh marking the 55th anniversary celebrations of Cambodia’s independence from France. The helicopter that took from Phnom Penh at 7:20 p.m. lost contact with the control tower about 15 minutes later, official reports said.
There were, however, conflicting reports about the helicopter’s last moments as the cause of the crash remained unclear. Though heavy rain is believed to be a possible factor, some witness reports said that the tail of the helicopter may have hit something on its way down and caught fire.
A close ally of the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, he had a reputation for ruthlessness. He was accused of involvement in drug trafficking and politically motivated killings. He was also praised by U.S. officials for co-operation in counter terrorism. He was appointed national police chief in 1994.