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Car’s driver held after Kandal ferry mishap

The driver of a car that sunk into the Tonle Bassac river and drowned seven people – including five children – was sent to Kandal Provincial Court yesterday morning, but a ferry operator who was also arrested over the deaths was bailed out by his boss.

Sa’ang district police chief Seng Socheat said yesterday that the accused, Sak Sarak, 33, of Prek Hou commune in Takhmao, was arrested at 8pm on Sunday after he drunkenly accelerated his car onto a ferry, smashing a timber barrier and plunging into the water.

Ferry operator Sim Ratanak, 24, was arrested on Monday morning on the order of Lem Sokunthear, Kandal Provincial Court prosecutor.

“Both were accused of carelessly causing unintentional death. However, on Tuesday morning, authorities decided to free the boat operator temporarily after the boat business owner guaranteed his bail,” Sokunthear said.

Ferry operator Ratanak said the accident could have been prevented if the driver paid attention to a sign telling drivers to get their passengers out of the car, or unlock their seatbelts and open the windows.

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