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Diamond Island bridge to be removed

Diamond Island bridge to be removed

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Construction workers dismantle a railing yesterday on a bridge to Diamond Island, which was the site of a deadly stampede in November 2010 during the water festival.

The Diamond Island Bridge, where 353 people lost their lives in a stampede during Cambodia’s Water Festival in November last year, will be taken apart and removed within two months, a worker said yesterday.

The man, who did not want to be named, is part of a group from Workers from Asian Construction Corporation Company that has been clearing cement from the bridge’s poles in recent days in preparation to take them out.

The bridge could be gone within a month, but it was more likely that it would take two months to take it down, he said.

“If we do it as fast as we can, we will spend one month demolishing it, but we will spend two months to completely dismantle it,” he said.

“I don’t know why it is being taken apart,” the worker said.

Touch Samnang, Diamond Island project manager for Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation, said there was no point keeping the bridge where it was because people were increasingly using the two newly constructed bridges nearby to travel to and from the island.

“We tried to close this bridge for a while and saw that two bridges were enough to prevent traffic jams,” he said.

“We will [dismantle] this bridge to move it to a new place nearby,” he added.

Nget Pov, 56, who lost two daughters and one granddaughter in the bridge tragedy, said she did not want the bridge to be taken down.

“They should keep this bridge forever for children or relatives of the victims to see and remind them that on this bridge their mother or father died,” she said.

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