Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hundreds die in tragic end to water festival

A mourner weeps amid several covered bodies at Calmette Hospital early this morning following a stampede that killed hundreds on the northen Koh Pich bridge during the water festival. (Photo by: Pha Lina)
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
The Phnom Penh Post Staff

Hundreds died and hundreds more were injured last night in a stampede on Diamond Island’s north bridge, bringing a tragic close to the final day of water festival celebrations in Phnom Penh.

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced via video conference at 2:30am that 339 people had been confirmed dead and 329 injured.

“With this miserable event, I would like to share my condolences with my compatriots and the family members of the victims,” he said.

This needs to be investigated more.”

A committee would be set up to examine the incident.

“This is the biggest tragedy since the Pol Pot regime,” he said, adding that Cambodia would hold a national day of mourning tomorrow.

The cause of the stampede has not yet been confirmed, but Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said it happened because “one million people”, many of whom were leaving the island, became “scared of something.”

Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth also could not confirm the series of events that led to the disaster.

“People were afraid and began to trample each other and some jumped into the river,” he said at the scene.

Bedlam ensued as the frenzied crowd began to push its way off the bridge, causing a jam that made it nearly impossible to breathe, according to witnesses.

With no other escape route, hundreds of people began jumping off the suspension bridge.

Sirens started to awaken city residents minutes later as ambulances, police cars and emergency vehicles began rushing to the scene, where they had to clear away the crowd before reaching victims.

Boats were called in to pull people out of the water and ferry others across the narrow Bassac River to the shore in front of the Royal Palace, where emergency workers fought through the crowd of frantic onlookers to care for the injured.

The bodies of victims were taken away in ambulances, flat-bed trucks and motor-bikes to area hospitals as police struggled to clear away the crowd by shouting, pushing and beating them back with their belts.

As the scene cleared, many bodies remained on the road, which was littered with shoes, shirts, pants and other objects dropped in the mayhem. Pieces of cardboard were placed over the heads of those obviously dead, while bystanders fanned people thought to be still alive.

Area hospitals confirmed that hundreds were either dead on arrival or died soon after, with witnesses on hand giving various explanations for the initial cause of the stampede and the actual cause of deaths.

A doctor at Calmette hospital, who declined to give his name, said after a preliminary assessment the principal causes of death among the victims he had examined were suffocation and electrocution.

Ouk Sokhhoeun, 21, was at the scene with his sister, 23-year-old Ouk Srey Mom, who was left unconscious and taken to Calmette hospital, said that military police started firing water cannons into the crowd on the bridge after the stampede had already caused scores of people to fall unconscious.

He said the water caused many people on the bridge to receive electric shocks from the cables lighting the bridge, at which point “some police also received electric shocks”.


Anonymous said...

No word can be expressed. It is unbelievable!!!!

Anonymous said...

It is time to help these fellow Cambodian first.

But do not forget to prevent more Khmer from being more killed by corruption .

Koh pich brigde is not standard because of corruption .

So Koh Pich bridge is an incident .

But corruption of building Koh Pich is not an accident it is one of dirty million plans Hun Sen master to kill the whole Khmer people and society.

Anonymous said...

In western country in such case like Koh Pich they set up special investigating comity .

And Prime Minster of that country must resign .

But in Cambodia it is not up to Hun Sen to set up a special comity or not it is up to his master from Hanoi to tell their puppet what to do.

Anonymous said...

What is behind the killing: "http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/11/22/cambodia.festival.deaths/index.html?hpt=T1"

Anonymous said...

Where is BUN RANY Red Cross?

Anonymous said...

បីក្បាល (ហ៊ុន សែន, ហេងសំ រិន, ជាស៊ីម) ហ្នឹងដែរ !

បើគ្មានសមត្តភាពទេ ល្មមចុះចេញទុកឱ្យ លោកសម រង្ស៊ី ធ្វើម្ដងហើយ។

Anonymous said...

This stampede is the biggest unprecedent tragedy for Khmer nation, but it is really good news for Sam Rainsy Party and its stupid supporters to politicise this incident to get a cheap political score. SRP is a biggest virus for Cambodian society.

Anonymous said...

That's a good question where is ME SAPUNG BUN RANY'S RED CROSS!

Anonymous said...

កំហុសធំបែបនេះ បើអ្នកដឹកនាំជប៉ុនវីញ
តែ ហ៊ុន សែន មិនព្រមទទួលខុសដាច់ខាត។

Anonymous said...

this is so sad. when you have a big crowd which reacts to any bad news it's a recipe for disaster....a panic crowd is very dangerous. Be calm in this type of situation is the only safe way.

Anonymous said...

Electric shock most likely. How well Cambodian electrician knows about electricity?

Who knows! And plus when those line wears and tears the police shoot the water cannon to disperse the crowds and it gotten even worst.

Anonymous said...

That is the responsability of the owner of KOH PECH, he must pay all of these domages: deaths and casualties..

Anonymous said...

we viet nam believe Hun Sen- CPP and the last is the KING Sihanomi did a good job and a good leaders. they are working hand in hand. They are a good leaders and good followers to our instructions.

Also thanks to all our vietnamese brothers and sisters who sacrify their family to work in all level of officials in cambodia to keep it part of viet nam.

we also want to thank His Excellency Dr. Phay Siphan, SOK Siphana and SARIN DENORA for their lips services and manipulation of international communities to support us..

Long live Viet Nam

Anonymous said...

If Hun Sen has real sympathy for Khmer victims of Koh Pich bridge Hun Sen must take full responsible by stepping down otherwise stop this crocodile tear .

But I am sure you will not step down or have real sympathy for Khmer people otherwise you would not do land eviction brutally at Dai Krahom, Bueng Kak, Hand Grenade attacked in 1997, Huge demonstration against fraud election results in 1998.

You are a tool of Indochina Federation.

Anonymous said...

ហុន​ សែន សម្លាប់ខ្មែរមិនទាន់ឆ្អែតផងធ្វើម៉េចវា

Anonymous said...

Hun Sen is very good at showing crocodile tear on TV.

Anonymous said...

Hun Sen must resign immediately. Otherwise, the spirit of these victims will get you tonight!

Anonymous said...


គ្រាន់តែយួនបង្អើលតែបន្ដិច ក៏ផ្អើលរត់ជាន់គ្នាងាប់
និងរបួស រាប់មិនអស់ទៅហើយ...!

គិតយ៉ាងណាទៅវិញ ?

Anonymous said...

វាគួ ឲ្យហួសចិត្តត្រង់ថា រដ្ឋភិបាលមួយមានកងកម្លាំងរក្សាសន្តិសុខ​និងសណ្តាបធ្នាប់ តែបែរជាបណ្តោយឲ្យមនុស្សចូលទៅចង្អៀតគ្នាជាប់ងាបដូចត្រី ឬអន្ទង់ក្នុងលាន់អីចឹង តើនរណាជាអ្នទទួលខុសត្រូវ? អ្នករក្សាសណ្តាបធ្នាប់ រក្សាយ៉ាងមម៉េចបានជាមិនដឹងពីចំណុះមនុស្សប៉ុន្មាននាក់ដែលត្រូវអនុញ្ញាតឲ្យចូលទៅក្នុងច្រកតូចចង្អៀតបែបហ្នឹង? ព្រឹត្តិការណ៍បែបនេះកើតឡើងគឺមិនមែនជាកំហុសរបស់រដ្ឋបាលហ៊ុនសែន​ល្ងីល្ងើទេឬ? ឬមួយចង់ស្វែងរកពួកភេរវជនដើម្បីដាក់កំហុស អាលនឹងបានរួចខ្លួនពីការទទួលខុសត្រូវ? ស្វែងរកក៏រកចុះតាមព្រោះជាការយល់ឃើញរបស់អ្នកដឹកនាំ​តែមេចៗកុំលេងល្បិងដោះយករួចខ្លួនទៅពូនផ្តុំកំហុសដាក់អ្នដទៃទៀតនើ! (ស្វាស៊ីបាយលាបមាត់ពពែ)

Anonymous said...

អាឆ្កែកញ្ជះយួនបីក្បាល ហ៊ុន សែន, ហេងសំ រិន, ជាស៊ីម
បើគ្មានសមត្តភាពទេ ល្មមចុះចេញទុកឱ្យ លោកសម រង្ស៊ី

Anonymous said...

Hun's leadership level is Zero.

Those who whork under him no management training, skill to handle to this situation.

They should let someone else do.

Anonymous said...

អ្នកដែលនិយាយទាំងប៉ុន្មាននេះភាគច្រើនដូចជាគ្មានសីលធម៌បន្តិចសោះ ដូចជាមិនដែលចូលសាលាអប់រំ។ ជនជាបណ្ឌិតគេមិនដែលនិយាយបែបនេះទេ។ ចរិកខ្មែរចួលចិត្តតែចង់ជាន់គ្នាពន្លិច ចូលចិត្តតែនិយាយបង្ករឿង ដែលភាសាសាមញ្ញនិយាយថា ជួញទុក្ខដាក់ខ្លួន និងតាមពាក្យបុរាណលោកសំដែងមកថា ដំបៅមិនឈឺយកឈើទៅចាក់

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Koh Pich bridge must change its name to corrupted bridge.

Because Koh Pich bridge is not standard becasueit is builded with corruption.

So corruption is a good weapon for Hun Sen to kill Khmer people.

Anonymous said...

Dear Khmer compatriot brothers and sisters,
I fill very sorry for the incident at Koh Pich that Khmer have been suffering again and again; I wish Khmer stop having the tragedies like this from now on. However, what I can see, if Yourn are still behind Hun Sen government, used Hun Sen ‘s hands to help killing Khmer in many different ways like that, Khmer never stop being suffered. This happening, at Koh Pich, is not the final tragedy for Khmer citizen. I do not believe that it is a real accident disaster; it has to have somebody plan to work on it to kill Khmer citizen for weakening us. If my view is correct, you will see Khmer will have a lot more tragedies than this in the near future. Therefore in order to stop something happen like this is to Pull Hun Sen and his clans out of the government (it does not meter how we do it) and change its structure and policies.

Anonymous said...

i am very sorry to hear that ,why they do like this
what they want to do ? who respone for this event ?
the goverment should be respone

Kulen Monorom said...

Your Royal Highness Samdech Ta,

Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen,

Thank you for your both kindness and understanding.

What we need is prevention method, not to let this type of accident happen again in future.

It also make me very worry to see so much alcohol allowed to enter or produced in our beloved Kingdom of Cambodia? What about “ YA BA “ from Thailand? Can Samdech Ta and Samdech Hun Sen stop all sort of drugs coming to Cambodia? The accident may not related to drugs and alcohol but just some thing that I could not sleep peacefully from now to the future in the name sake of Khmer citizen.

May almighty God Jesus Christ accept all the victim souls into heaven too.

My condolences to all the victim's family.


Kulen Monorom
(The rice farmer's son)

Anonymous said...

កាលពីដំបូងមាន​ប្រជាជនតែ​មួយចំនួនតូចតែប៉ុណ្ណោះ ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​រង់រមួស សន្លប់ ឬស្លាប់ តែហេតុការណ៍ចាប់ផ្ដើមអាក្រក់ខ្លាំង ដោយសារតែរដ្ឋាភិបាល និងសមត្ថកិច្ចអសមត្ថភាព​ក្នុងការជួយសង្រោះ ដល់ពួកគាត់ ដោយការ​បាញ់ទឹកដើម្បីបំបែកវូង (ព្រមទាំងដើម្បីជួយបង្កើនខ្យល់អុកស៊ីហ្សែន) និង​បានបាញ់កាំភ្លើងពីរឬបីគ្រាប់ ជាវិធីចម្បងនៃការជួសង្រោះ។ ដែលនេះបណ្ដាលឲ្យពួកគាត់ត្រូវស្លាប់ ដោយសារតែឆក់ជាមួយនឹងខ្សែភ្លើង និងគេរត់ជាន។ ដូច្នេះ រដ្ឋាភិបាលត្រូវតែប្រកាលទទួលខុសត្រូវ និងសុំទោស​ជាសាធារណៈ អំពីភាពល្ងង់ខ្លៅនៃការអន្តរាគមន៍របស់ខ្លួន ដល់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ជាជាងឲ្យបក្សពួករបស់ខ្លួនស្រែកក្ដែងៗ ដើម្បីឲ្យគេដឹងគុណអំពីសកម្មភាពប៉ះប៉ូវរបស់ខ្លួន។