Cambodia's dead number rises to 375 in water festival stampede

15:19, November 23, 2010      

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The total number of dead in water festival stampede rose to 375 and the injured increased to 755 as millions of Cambodians celebrated the annual water festival in the capital Phnom Penh, the Bayon TV announced on Tuesday.

The TV also reported that according to the information received from the families, there are still five people missing.

These people were killed in stampede accident took place Monday nigh on a bridge that connecting the city with Diamond Island which has become the center of celebration of annual water festival.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen made three speech in Bayon TV after the accident, saying he was shocked to learn with the large death toll happened at Kok Pich (Dimand) Island on the last day of Water Festival, that is, after the successful event. He expressed his condolence to all relatives and the victims.

Meanwhile, he urged the doctors to do their best to save the injured people and ordered the concerned sectors to carry fall-out investigations of the cause.

While there is no clear finding of the cause of the accident, a special committee has been set up to investigate this horrific accident.

Sar Kheng, deputy prime minister and minister of interior led a delegation to Koh Pich (Dimand) Island to see the victims site.

Sok An, minister of Council of Ministers, held an urgent meeting Monday night among Phnom Penh Authorities.

The real cause of the accident was not available so far. But some said that the bridge was broken may be one of the causes, and some also said a girl got fainted among the crowd and spurred the turmoil, while some maintained that gangsters fought may be also the cause.

Cambodia's Water Festival or boat race, starting from Nov. 20 to 22, is the largest annual festival in the country, around two million Cambodians, especially, those from rural areas are coming to the city to enjoy the regatta.

Source: Xinhua


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