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Accidents claim 30 lives over three-day holiday

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A traffic accident site in Phnom Penh late last week. More than 30 people died and 100 others were injured in traffic accidents over the Chinese New Year celebration weekend. Photo supplied

Accidents claim 30 lives over three-day holiday

More than 30 people were killed and 100 others injured in traffic accidents during the three-day Chinese New Year holiday this year, a slight drop in both categories, officials said yesterday.

A report issued by National Police’s traffic and public orders unit blamed “speeding and drunk driving” for the 60 traffic accidents from January 27-29 that left 32 people dead, 69 seriously injured, and 28 slightly injured. The comparable holiday period a year ago saw 72 traffic accidents with 38 deaths, 85 serious and 42 slight injuries.

While a concerted effort to enforce helmet usage has yielded visible gains since the new Traffic Law went into effect last year, most deaths were the result of their absence.

“[M]ost of the dead victims were motorbike drivers who wore no helmet,” the report said.

Separately, the Ministry of Interior’s fire department issued a report yesterday indicating that a total of 10 fire incidents occurred in eight provinces during Chinese New Year.

Twelve buildings and several vehicles and machines were damaged, though no monetary value was assigned to the losses.

The report blames the blazes on a mix of “electrical malfunctions, burning candles and incense sticks, and throwing away cigarette butts carelessly”.

Fire department director Neth Vantha said this figure marked a decrease of two accidents compared with last year. No one was injured, he said.

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