Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Capsized ferry’s owner still missing

Capsized ferry’s owner still missing

Capsized ferry’s owner still missing

091013_02
Local villagers assist in the hunt for bodies in the aftermath of Saturday night’s ferry disaster, which claimed 17 lives – including that of a 4-year-old boy.

THE OWNER of a ferry that capsized in Kratie province Saturday, killing at least 17 people, remained missing Monday amid conflicting reports that he had either drowned in the accident or had escaped and gone into hiding, police said.

Police officials had spoken with the ferry pilot’s wife and daughter, and it was unclear whether he would face criminal charges if he was found alive, said Kratie provincial police Chief Chuong Seang Hak. He said that he believed the man survived the accident.

An employee said Sunday that he saw the owner swim to shore and hide. The man’s daughter, however, told the Post she thought he had drowned.

A dozen other survivors were accounted for by Monday, Chuong Seang Hak said.

Roughly 30 passengers were thought to be on the ferry, which officials said was made to carry 20 people, when it sank in heavy rain Saturday night after those on board panicked.

“Passengers didn’t stay calm when the rain hit,” Chuong Seang Hak said, describing a scene of terrified victims frantically grabbing at one another through the darkness in a struggle to stay afloat.

Meanwhile, distraught relatives mourned their dead Monday. Eang Te, 54, lost four members of his family, including two young grandsons, ages 4 and 5.

“I feel really hopeless,” Eang Te said as family members gathered for a mass funeral for 15 of the dead.

Chhlong commune Chief Lao Bunnim said he was shocked at the news of the drowning. “The boat owner has been doing this job for a long time, and such a terrible thing has never happened before,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group