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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bus, train crash as accidents mount

Bus, train crash as accidents mount

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Passengers escaped unharmed from this car accident on National Road 3, which took place about midnight on Friday in Kampot Province.

We are educating  all people about traffic laws
– for both normal and festival days

An Indian national was seriously injured when a bus and train crashed in Kampot province on Saturday evening, as authorities continued to count the annual Khmer New Year death tool.

Siv Pheng, acting district governor of Angkor Chey, said yesterday that a Phnom Penh Sorya Transportation bus, carrying more than 20 people, had been travelling from Kampot to Phnom Penh when it collided with a train on the railroad in his district.

The driver is thought to have neither seen nor heard the maintenance train, carrying a crew of 16 and performing repairs to tracks, despite a warning horn being sounded, he said.

The 33-year-old Indian man, who was travelling on the train, broke both his legs and has been sent to Phnom Penh’s Calmette hospital for treatment, he said.

“Several travellers in the bus were also lightly injured,” he added.

Phan Na, general manager of Phnom Penh Sorya Transportation, could not be reached for comment yesterday and head office staff said they were unaware of the case.

Authorities across the country have been counting road accidents through the New Year, which sees large numbers of Cambodians take to the roads.

Over the holiday period in the capital, six people died in major traffic accidents from April 14 to date, said Phnom Penh municipal traffic police chief Heng Chantheary.

“There were six cases of traffic accidents in the capital which resulted in six deaths, six serious injuries and two light injuries,” he said.

He added some of the accidents had involved vehicles travelling at speed and some people had not been wearing protective helmets.

Last year, there were no deaths during Khmer New Year, but three injuries.

“We are educating all people about traffic laws – for both normal and festival days,” he said.

In Kampong Cham province, five fatalities have been registered during the holiday break thus far, seven below the provincial total for last year.

Chum Thany, traffic police chief Kampong Cham province said police had found it difficult to control traffic accidents during this year’s holiday. “Most accidents happened along pathways, while traffic police only reinforce the national roads,” he said.

In Battambang, eight people died and 48 have been injured during the holiday to date, said provincial traffic police chief Sath Kimsan. He said that most accidents had been caused by motorbike riders who did not respect traffic laws, failed to wear the helmets or were drunk.

In 2010, more than 1,600 people died in traffic accidents, down from the 1,717 recorded in 2009, according to government figures.

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