At least eight people were killed on roads in the capital and popular tourist spots, while fire razed 16 homes in Phnom Penh during the Khmer New Year weekend, authorities said yesterday.
Seven crashes occurred in the capital, killing two and injuring seven, deputy chief of Phnom Penh’s road traffic police Chev Hak said.
“The traffic accidents increased from last year, but the death toll decreased,” he said, adding that six people were killed in six accidents in the city during the same time last year.
“Speed remains a key factor that causes traffic accidents. Road accidents in Phnom Penh this year, however, were not caused by drivers being drunk.”
In Siem Reap, where tens of thousands of people flocked for celebrations, deputy police chief Kan Sambath said four people were killed and six injured in six accidents.
“There were fewer accidents this year after authorities kept order, taught traffic laws and cracked down on speeding,” he said. “However, accidents still happen and often they are caused by people driving drunk or overtaking at fast speeds."
Prum Pov, chief of road traffic police in Preah Sihanouk province, said there were four accidents in his province, including one in which two motorcycles had collided, claiming the lives of two people and injured five.
Sok Nob, procedure office chief at the Ministry of Interior’s order department, said a holiday road toll will be issued tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a careless home–owner has been blamed for a fire that razed 10 homes in the capital on Saturday, one of three blazes caused by candles and incense sticks, a fire department official said.
Phnom Penh Municipal Fire Department Neth Vantha said 10 houses were destroyed in a blaze in Meanchey district on Saturday, another five in the same district the next day and one house in Dangkor district.
“Careless” owners had left home with candles and incense sticks burning, he said.
No injuries had occurred because no one else had been at home, Neth Vantha said, adding that 45 fire trucks had battled the fires.