Five people, a 10-year-old boy among them, were killed and another 19 injured in Pursat province’s Krakor district when the bus they were travelling in suffered a blowout and collided with a truck at about 12am yesterday morning.
District police chief Em Run said the incident occurred between kilometres 148 and 149 of National Road 5.
“This traffic accident is the worst so far [this year], and in my district alone, since the beginning of January, 15 people were killed in traffic accidents. Including the five last night, it is [now] up to 20 people,” Run said.
According to Run, one passenger died at the scene, while the four others succumbed to severe injuries after being sent to the provincial hospital.
Among the 19 injured, Run added, only six remain in hospital, with injuries such as broken arms and legs. The others, he said, had already returned home.
Both of the vehicles involved in the crash were badly damaged and impounded by authorities.
Ros Chamroeun, Pusat provincial traffic police chief, said yesterday that the investigation into the accident is ongoing, and that authorities are waiting for the victims’ families to file official complaints before forwarding the case to provincial court.
Chamroeun added that the bus belonged to a company called Rasmey Phnom Penh, and police are attempting to make contact with the company’s owner or representative in order to sort out the matter of compensation.
“The accident was a big one, and we have to conduct an investigation before filing a complaint to the court. We don’t know how long the investigation will take because we have to wait for the complaints of the victims’ family as evidence,” said Chamroeun.
“We are law enforcement officials, and we are not involved in resolving the compensation, which depends on the court.”
Contact information for Rasmey Phnom Penh could not be obtained as of press time yesterday.
According to traffic police figures released yesterday, at least 101 Cambodians were killed in traffic accidents and another 412 people were injured this year as of January 17. The majority of accidents were attributed to speeding, failing to respect right of way, driving on the wrong side of the road, poor passing and drunk driving.