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Van crash leaves nine dead in Battambang

Nine people were killed yesterday and four injured when a Mekong Express-operated van collided with a truck on National Road 5 in Battambang province’s Mong Russei district, police said.

Battambang provincial traffic police chief Sat Kimsan blamed the drivers of both vehicles – both of whom were killed – for driving negligently prior to the crash, which took place in Prey Damrei village.

“It happened at 4pm. The Mekong Express van left Poipet for Phnom Penh and the truck was driving in the opposite direction despite the fact that the steering wheel was on the right side of the car,” Kimsan said.

“The truck was trying to overtake another car and the Mekong Express van was speeding over 100 kilometres per hour.”

Police are now trying to identify the victims, whose bodies were sent to Kon Khlong pagoda in Prey Toch commune.

“People think this place is a bad area for traffic accidents, but both drivers were in the wrong and now they are both dead,” Kimsan said.

Eight people, one of them a monk, were killed and 28 others were injured when a bus collided with a crane in the same village earlier this year.

An employee of Mekong Express said the company is waiting for more information about the crash and could not comment.

“We have just heard about the incident,” she said.

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