Five women died on the spot while 23 garment workers sustained injuries in two separate accidents in Kampong Thom province’s Stung Sen town and Kampot province’s Chumkiri district on Wednesday.
In Kampong Thom, Stung Sen town police chief Nhem Chhun Ly said the five women were killed when their car overturned on National Road 6 in Prey Tahou district’s Prey Tahou village.
The car was travelling at high speed and veered off the road when taking a curve, he said.
Chhun Ly identified the driver as Duch Voleak, a police officer at the Ministry of Interior. Her four passengers were named as Uon Chantheary, 34, from Svay Luong commune in Pursat province’s Kandieng district; Lach Sreymon, 26, from Peaream commune in Takeo province’s Bati district, and Dok Chan Voleak, 26, from Boeung Keng Kang III commune in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang district.
The fifth woman’s identity was not immediately known.
“The five may be friends. They were likely travelling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap province. Their bodies are being kept at a Kampong Thom hospital and will be handed over to their families,” he said.
In Kampot province, a van suffered a flat front tyre while travelling and overturned while carrying 23 garment workers, three of them men, on National Road 41 in Chumkiri district’s Sre Cheng commune.
Nine of the workers sustained serious injuries and were rushed to a hospital in Phnom Penh for intensive care.
Provincial police chief Mao Chan Mathurith said the other passengers were slightly injured and sent to hospitals in Kampot and neighbouring Takeo province for treatment.
He said the SsangYong van was travelling at high speed while transporting the workers from Boeung Trakuon factory in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisei district.
He said the van was being impounded as evidence at the Chumkiri district police station pending a solution after the unidentified driver fled the scene.
Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) president Pav Sina said traffic accidents, especially those involving garment workers, remained a cause for concern.
He said while some workers commute to work on their own, many others relied on improper means of transportation.
Sina urged the government to take immediate measures to mitigate the risks faced by workers. She called on factory owners to ensure safety by offering buses as a standard means of transportation.
“The government should launch a campaign to ensure factories in Cambodia followed the example of those in Koh Kong province that provided buses for workers to commute. With such reliable means of transportation, accidents rarely happened,” he said.
A National Police report said there were 338 traffic accidents in September alone, leaving 177 dead and 304 seriously injured. Eight cars and 153 motorcycles were damaged. The report attributed the main cause of accidents to speeding and reckless and drunk driving.