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

  • 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

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh