Two couples suffered both serious and minor injuries when a car from a roller coaster at the amusement park Chamkar Pring in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district derailed and was thrown from the track on Sunday.
Doung Vatanak, a deputy police chief in Sen Sok’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune, said a group of young park-goers were on the ride at about 5pm when the incident occurred.
Victims Ly Manut, 21, and Kim Sern, 21, both suffered severe injuries to the head, while two other riders, aged 16 and 17, were slightly injured.
According to Vatanak, the roller coaster at Chamkar Pring resort was temporarily closed while the reason for the derailment is investigated, though the rest of the park remains open.
An independent vendor inside the park who declined to be named criticised Chamkar Pring for allowing visitors onto a ride that had not been inspected, and said that those in the detached car were lucky to have lived.
“I saw with my own eyes, a part of train fell all the way to the ground,” she said. “They are lucky because they fell from a lower place. If the train fell off of the highest place, maybe they would not have survived.”
The accident is not a first for Cambodia’s amusement parks. Three workers were charged when a broken bolt caused the death of a Japanese tourist in a similar roller coaster derailment in Siem Reap in March of last year. Last May, a 33-year-old woman fell to her death from a ride at Phnom Penh’s Dreamland amusement park, with park employees maintaining that she had suffered a panic attack and jumped.
Mat Pally, 43, the mother of Ly Manut – who remains unconscious – said that the park had only given her $35, a sum that would not cover her son’s treatment.
“Right now, he’s unconscious. He has a serious injury on his head,” she said. “I worry so much. He is a student, but now he has a wound to his head.”
Victim Kim Sern said that in the instant that the train derailed she thought she would die. “When it happened, I assumed that we would not survive, because the train was going so fast and falling towards the ground,” she said.
Contact information for Chamkar Pring’s management was not available yesterday.