Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crash kills four staffers of NGO

Crash kills four staffers of NGO

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Four staff members of the NGO Save the Children died and another four were injured in a bus crash on Friday. Police believe the driver, who escaped, had fallen asleep at the wheel. national Police

Crash kills four staffers of NGO

An Australian woman was among four Save the Children staff members killed in a minibus crash on Friday afternoon when the minibus driver allegedly fell asleep at the wheel. Four others were severely injured in the accident in Takeo province’s Tram Kak district.

Sok Samnang, the Takeo provincial police chief, said 14 Save the Children employees were returning to Phnom Penh in a private minibus from a child protection workshop in Kep province when the incident happened.

They were travelling along National Road 3 when the vehicle left the road and hit a tree, killing three people at the scene. Another died at the provincial referral hospital.

Samnang said the driver, who is believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel, fled the scene after the incident. He is yet to be apprehended.

The NGO staff members were returning after a two-day workshop in Kep via Kampot province, where one Briton, who is associated with the NGO, alighted.

“Based on our assumptions, the driver must have fallen asleep as he was on a trip for two nights. The minibus was travelling at high speed when it ran off the road and hit a mango tree,” Samnang said. The injured were rushed to hospital.

The impact caused the minibus to nearly break in two. Samnang said a lack of blood at the scene suggested the victims suffered internal injuries.

“We are accusing the driver of careless driving. We are on the lookout to arrest him,” he said.

Save the Children confirmed that four members of its staff are in intensive care, while others received outpatient treatment before being discharged.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The minibus nearly broke in two upon impact. National Police

The organisation said they will ensure that all their team members get the best medical treatment and care possible and that they will do everything they can to help grieving families, friends and colleagues after the tragedy.

Save the Children Country Director Elizabeth Pearce confirmed that four members of the NGO’s staff – three women and a man – lost their lives in the accident, while four others were critically injured.

“This is a truly heartbreaking event and our condolences and thoughts go out to the families of all those who have been affected,” Pearce said. She said that Save the Children is in contact with the authorities as they conduct their investigation.

“Our primary concern is for the families, and we are providing support to help them through this incredibly difficult time. We are also supporting our staff, many of whom have been devastated by this tragic and sudden loss.”

Run Rath Veasna, head of the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Traffic and Public Order, said: “We again ask people to respect the law. Law enforcement is being strengthened, and those who violate it will be fined and have their vehicles impounded.”

A previous version of this story incorrectly state that "...as he had been driving for two nights." In fact, he was on a trip for two nights. The Post apologies for any confusion caused.

MOST VIEWED

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon

  • Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia. A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will

  • Cambodia to remain neutral on ASEAN-China territorial dispute

    Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn told an informal meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers on Wednesday that Cambodia will stay neutral on the South China Sea. He appealed to all stakeholders to continue fostering a conducive environment that contributes to the end