Death toll mounts after bridge stampede in Cambodia - Macleans.ca

Death toll mounts after bridge stampede in Cambodia

351 dead and 395 injured in Water Festival tragedy

by

The body count continues to climb in Phnom Penh in the aftermath of a deadly stampede on a bridge Monday night that coincided with the end of Cambodia’s annual Water Festival. “This is the biggest tragedy we have experienced in the past 31 years, since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime,” Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Tuesday. The official cause of the stampede is unknown, but reports say that a rumour developed among revelers that the bridge was unstable, causing crowds to panic. “People started running and were falling over each other,” 23-year-old Kruon Hay told Agence France-Presse. “I fell too. I only survived because other people pulled me up. Many people jumped in the water,” he said. The bridge, which leads to an island in the Tonle Bassac River, was also decorated with brightly lit cables that began snapping under the weight of the overcrowded bridge, electrocuting people in the crowd. Mr. Hun Sen announced that Thursday would be a national day of mourning for Cambodia.

National Post

Time

Filed under: