Swinging bridge main cause of stampede tragedy

16:49, November 24, 2010      

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Primary investigation found swinging bridge is the cause of the death of 375 people and the injured of 755 on Monday night at Diamond Island's north bridges during the last day of the celebration of the water festival, said a Cambodia's senior national police on Wednesday.

"Our primary assessment after we inspected the accident site and through the information provided by victims and eyewitnesses found that the swinging bridge is the cause of the accident," Lieutenant General Sok Phal, deputy chief of the National Police and vice-president of the special committee for the accident investigation, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

He said: "It's a kind of suspension bridge, but people were not aware of it and when it (the bridge) swung, some four or five people on it felt dizzy and got fainted."

"At that time, other people thought that the bridge was collapsing and burst out shouting that the bridge collapsed and the crowded people on it began to push each other back and forth and causing fatalities," he said. "In fact, the bridge is in good condition."

He said that the dead were from suffocation and stampede, no any evidence found about terrorism or electrocution.

"Our 100 percent conclusion that there is no any sign of terrorism in the accident," he said.

And it is also impossible to die from electrocution because the electric power used to supply the colorful lights along the bridge 's rail is just 12 vol in equivalent to the power for torch-light battery, so with this weak power, it could not electrocute, he explained.

Cambodia's Water Festival from Nov. 20 to 22 is the largest annual festival in the Southeast Asian nation, more than 2 million Cambodians, especially those from rural areas converged to the city to enjoy the regatta.



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