Eight people died and 12 were injured after a makeshift tractor lost control and flipped over in a village in Kratie’s Snuol district yesterday morning.
Snuol district public order head Chhuan Tong said the accident took place at about 8:40am in Sre Roneam village, Khsuem commune, and was the result of malfunctioning brakes. The tractor, a Mazda modified to fit some 30 people, was on its way to Mondulkiri and following a lead motorbike.
“The car was driving fast around the bends in the road,” he said. “Suddenly, the brakes stopped working, and the tractor hit the motorbike that was guiding it [on the road]. The car then fell into a canal and overturned.”
Tong added that seven men and one woman were killed in the crash, including the man driving the motorbike.
“The dead bodies were sent to the [victims’] families in Prek Saman commune, in Kratie’s Chhlong district,” Tong said. “The tractor is being looked at by police.”
The 12 injured – 11 men and one woman, including the driver of the tractor – were sent to the Snuol Provincial Hospital.
Hospital director Keang Hong said that among the injured, several were still unconscious.
The victims, according to Snuol district police officer Ngan Sav Yun, were allegedly hired to clear trees by a company called Khmer Angkor. However, authorities could not confirm this as fact.