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Five killed in plunge from bridge

Authorities and locals inspect the site of a tractor accident that killed five in Battambang on Friday
Authorities and locals inspect the site of a tractor accident that killed five in Battambang on Friday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Five killed in plunge from bridge

Five members of the same family were killed and another 15 seriously injured when a tractor careened off a Battambang bridge on Friday.

The family of 20 was headed home after a relative’s wedding in Battambang’s Mong Russei district, driving a home-made tractor and cart they had borrowed to get to and from the celebration.

According to the police, the 33-year-old driver appeared intoxicated and drove too quickly, causing the vehicle to crash through the bridge guard rail and fall about four metres. Two passengers were killed instantly, and another three died in hospital emergency centres.

“Since the tractor drove off of the bridge, none of them could get off,” said Kith Heang, police chief in Mong Russei district.

The driver’s father, Chroen Ven, 57, his mother, Vay Chhay, 63, and siblings’ Vet Sarot, 8, Ven Sa, 12, and Pak Chork, 33, were all killed in the accident.

“The driver seemed to be drunk after they left the party. [The tractor] crashed through the bridge and fell into a pond,” said Sam Chantha, a police officer in Mong Russei district.

“Other passengers were rushed to the hospital for treatment,” he added. “It is sad for those who lost their family from this accident.”

As of Sunday, two 5-year-old passengers remained in critical condition in emergency centres, one in Siem Reap and another in Battambang.

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