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Kampong Speu crash victims filing suits

Garment workers wait in an ambulance to be transported to a provincial hospital on Tuesday morning in Kampong Speu after they were involved in a fatal traffic accident.
Garment workers wait in an ambulance to be transported to a provincial hospital on Tuesday morning in Kampong Speu after they were involved in a fatal traffic accident. Hong Menea

Kampong Speu crash victims filing suits

Victims from the deadly garment worker truck crash that left several workers dead and 68 injured in Kampong Speu province on Tuesday have filed a complaint against the truck driver blamed for the accident, while officials yesterday revised downward the initial reported death toll of five workers.

Sok Sophal, deputy police chief of the province’s Kong Pisei district, said yesterday that 20 victims’ families filed a complaint to his office demanding money from driver Dearb Ramorn, who fled the scene and has yet to be apprehended.

“We will not get it right if we do not obtain the total number of complaints, so we will wait for more families to file [to send complaints to court],” he said.

Meanwhile, Sophal and Kong Pisei district police chief Touch Phearith maintained that only four people, rather than five, had died in the crash, saying 31-year-old Khat Sokchan, who was reported to have died at Calmette Hospital on Tuesday, was actually breathing in her hospital bed, despite her family having begun funeral arrangements.

Sokchan’s family could not be reached yesterday, while emergency room doctors contacted said they did not know of her case.

Cheav Bunrith, spokesman for the National Social Security Fund, which is in charge of compensating victims, also said only four workers were killed by the crash, maintaining that the initially reported death toll was due to one of the fatalities being counted twice.

The crash took place on Tuesday morning after one truck overloaded with garment workers tried to overtake another.

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