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35 injured in night bus crash

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Men purchase bus tickets at Virak Buntham Express Tour & Travel yesterday in Phnom Penh.

A total of 35 people, including 18 foreign nationals, were injured when a night bus travelling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap crashed in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The Virak Buntham Express Tour and Travel bus collided with a broken-down rice truck, which was blocking part of the road in Kien Sangke commune, in Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district, at around 5am.

Thorng Sakun, the chief of Siem Reap police road traffic bureau, said that the truck had stopped on the wrong side of the road in order to change its tyres.

“The bus driver crashed into it because of his carelessness,” he said.

An American tourist broke his left leg, he said, while another 34 people were hurt. The injured were taken to hospital.

Suon Samath, general  manager of  Virak Buntham Express Tour and Travel, said  yesterday that the company was insured and had been transporting passengers on night buses between Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville for nearly two years without incident.

He hoped the accident would not matter to his clientelle who he hoped would continue to use the company’s services despite yesterday’s crash. Traffic police said yesterday they would investigate the accident further.

In the first three months of 2011,  Thorng Sakun said 55 traffic accidents were recorded in Siem Reap province resulting in 24 deaths.

The Siem Reap accident is the latest for the Kingdom’s buses.

Last month, an Indian national was seriously injured when a Phnom Penh Sorya Transportation bus and a train collided on a railroad in Kampot province.

In early March, 19 Cambodians died when a mini bus and a container truck crashed in Preah Sihanouk province.

The truck driver was among the dead and eight others were seriously injured.

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