A fiery collision that resulted in six deaths yesterday capped a deadly first 36 hours of Chinese New Year’s on the nation’s roads.
Yesterday’s accident involved a car and a 36,000-litre gasoline truck along National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nop district.
Kheang Bunna, the deputy district police chief, told the Post that the six were in a speeding white Toyota Camry that was trying to overtake another vehicle when it collided head-on with an oncoming Sokimex tanker.
The force of the collision caused the Camry to overturn and burst into flames – killing the five men and one woman onboard. The truck driver was uninjured and managed to escape the carnage.
“The accident happened because the Camry driver was careless and didn’t respect traffic rules,” said Bunna, adding that he saw four charred bodies within the car.
The other two were flung out of the vehicle, he said. “It was terrible.”
Both vehicles involved in the accident have been impounded by the police. The bodies of victims were taken to the nearby Veal Meas pagoda.
Bunna believes the group were on their way to Preah Sihanouk from Phnom Penh over the Chinese New Year holiday.
In total, 15 people died and a further 59 were injured in traffic accidents on the first day of the Chinese New Year on Sunday, according to a report the General Commissariat of National Police published on their website.
But Kirt Chantharith, spokesman for the National Police, told the Post that it is still premature to say that this figure is higher than usual.
He added: “Traffic accidents are decreasing every year.”
He said the General Commissariat will release more detailed statistics – covering the first three days of the Chinese New Year – on Wednesday.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Yuthana at [email protected]
With assistance from Danson Cheong