Cambodia Mourns For Stampede Victims Of The Water Festival

November 24th, 2010 - 7:10 pm ICT by GD  

By Gina Gomez
cambodiaNov 24, (THAINDIAN NEWS) Like every year, Cambodia was celebrating its annual Water Festival in Phnom Penh on Monday. However, the city faced tragedy when a stampede was triggered which claimed as many as 378 deaths and left 755 people injured. Cambodia has declared Thursday as the National Day of mourning after such an unfortunate accident and the investigators are busy trying to find out what caused such a rampage in the festival.

The unfortunate event happened on Monday when nearly ten thousand people tried to flee an island in the Bassac River across a narrow bridge during the festival. However, some media sources reported that the reason for such a hysteric surge was because the bridge in the water festival was unstable which caused fear in the people and they panicked and tried to run away from the place. The eyewitnesses reported that the military forces used water cannons as thousands stampeded over the bridge and it caused electric shocks from the bridge lights. The former Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said that Thursday would be a day of remembrance for the victims who lost their lives in the stampede. The authorities have also reported that they have formed an investigation team to shed a light on the whole matter.

However, the Government admitted that they concentrated their security on the water but not on land. Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the country considered the day as the biggest tragedy of nation and expressed his condolence for the victims’ families. The disaster at Diamond Island bridge left the whole nation morning and presently funerals and cremations of the victims are taking place in the city.

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