Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Families of Water Festival stampede victims come together




Families of Water Festival stampede victims come together

Families of the victims of Cambodia’s 2010 Water Festival stampede gather at the scene of the fatal catastrophe that resulted in over 300 deaths, paying respects and demanding accountability.
Families of the victims of Cambodia’s 2010 Water Festival stampede gather at the scene of the fatal catastrophe on Wednesday, Heng Chivoan

Families of Water Festival stampede victims come together

Families of the victims of Cambodia’s 2010 Water Festival stampede gathered on Wednesday at the scene of the fatal catastrophe that resulted in more than 300 deaths, paying respects and demanding accountability.

The stampede, which injured hundreds of festival-goers, occurred on a bridge to Koh Pich on the final day of the three-day celebration. No official reason has been given for what sparked the panicked crush of bodies, and authorities closed the weeklong investigation, with Prime Minister Hun Sen declaring it an accident.

Families were joined by authorities and 108 monks for a ceremony blessing the dead.

Huy Sam Ol, whose 17-year-old son was killed, asked authorities to take responsibility.

“I heard that there was a stampede and that’s why they ran over each other. I want to know who is going to take the responsibility for this case, because in the past, I heard that it is an accident and no one caused it, but that was it,” he said.

“I really want to know the reason [why it happened], but if they do not tell me, I do not know what to do. I can only organise the ceremony for my dead children,” said Nov Ros, whose two daughters died in the incident.

Municipal official Morb Sarin said the incident was the biggest tragedy in Phnom Penh since the Pol Pot regime.

“Although authorities have put every effort into helping, this is a lesson for all authorities in all sectors to remember and pay more attention forever during all national festivals and gatherings,” Sarin said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,