Cambodia stampede victims get donations from bridge owner

21:19, November 23, 2010      

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The victims of the major stampede, occurring Monday night on a bridge in Phnom Penh, got donations from the owner of the bridge on Tuesday.

"Nobody expected a tragedy like this would happen, and the control of pedestrian flow will be the main preventive measure we take in the future," said the president of Canadia Bank Pung Kheau Se, who is also the owner of Diamond Island and its bridge, as he came up at Calmette Hospital to show his condolences to the victims there.

The households of the dead each got 1,000 U.S. dollars in cash while those injured in the accident got 200 U.S. dollars each.

Pung said the rescue work taken by the government were timely and well-organized. He also showed his gratefulness to the charity groups and volunteers who came to the hospitals overwhelmed by hundreds of inpatients to help.

According to an anonymous personnel of the hospital, the largest one in the Cambodian capital, they had admitted more than 140 injured people and seen another 140 death cases since late Monday night after the stampede occurred on the bridge of Diamond Island in the last day of the Cambodian Water Festival.

The tragedy killed at least 375 people and wounded another 755 as the overcrowded bridge connecting main-land Phnom Penh to Diamond Island saw a sudden panic. Many were drowned, suffocated or were trampled to death as they tried to flee over the bridge.

The three-day Water Festival, the largest annual festival in the Southeast Asian nation, this year attracted over 3 million Cambodians, many from rural areas, converging to the capital city to enjoy the regatta.



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