A night passenger bus ran off the road and skidded into a ditch early on Wednesday in Siem Reap province, killing three people and injuring 26, authorities said.
The Sun Oukhong bus veered off the road as it approached a bridge at about 3:30am, skidded into the ditch and collided with a cement canal wall, said Kung Oeun, Traffic Police Chief in Chi Kraeng district.
The bodies of three men, the driver, Meas Dara, 41, his assistant, Khlouk Phally, 34, and passenger Yuon Bieck, 26, remained trapped for several hours until a crane was located to dislodge the bus.
Phally’s wife, Rouen Si Yueng, 28, arrived at the scene after the crash. “She is crying and screaming ‘get him out’,” Oeun said. She and Phally have two children, aged 10 and 3.
“I was almost speechless when I heard about his death,” she said, speaking through sobs. “I am feeling very upset when I saw my husband’s body stuck on the bus.”
Six people were seriously wounded and a further 20 received minor injuries. The windows of the bus were smashed to lift the injured out and take them to hospital.
The driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel of the bus en route from Siem Reap to Anlong Veng in Oddar Meanchey province, Oeun said, adding that the deaths were especially tragic as they came on the eve of the Khmer New Year holiday.
“The people are very scared about this accident,” he said.
He recalled a similar accident five years ago near the same location in Sangvoeuy commune, in which a bus collided with a banana truck, killing four.
“The religious believers, they say the ghosts are still here,” Oeun said.