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Driver held after 95 workers hurt in crash

Garment workers get treatment at a medical center after an overspeeding accident on Friday in Kampong Cham province.
Garment workers get treatment at a medical center after an overspeeding accident on Friday in Kampong Cham province. Fresh News

Driver held after 95 workers hurt in crash

A 34-year-old driver was being questioned by Kampong Cham Provincial Police yesterday after the truck he was allegedly speeding in on Friday overturned, injuring all 95 garment workers onboard and landing three of them in critical condition in a hospital in Phnom Penh, officials said.

Kheang Se, deputy police chief in Cheung Prey district, where the accident happened, identified the driver as Chhe Kimheng. “The driver is already [being] temporarily detained at the provincial police headquarters before being sent to court for [further] questioning,” he said, adding that the driver had all legal documents, including a driver’s licence, but could face charges for causing so many injuries.

Crashes involving commuting garment worker are common in Cambodia, but critics have accused the government of doing little to prevent them or hold drivers accountable.

Read more: When a risky road is the only option

Em Kosal, provincial police chief, declined to comment on the case. Hout Vuthy, provincial prosecutor, said it was not yet known whether the driver would face charges as the court was still waiting on the investigation by provincial police.

The “judge will continue to question [him] regarding the [incident] . . . and then we’ll see if he is guilty, and make a decision after [that]”, he said.

Soy Sothorn, head of the National Social Security Fund in Kampong Cham, said Kimheng was speeding when the accident occurred. The workers in critical condition were sent to Calmette Hospital in the capital, while
the rest were transferred to the provincial hospital.

Sothorn said Kimheng had participated in NSSF-led driver’s training earlier this year.

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