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Third Chinese tourist dies after Kulen Mountain crash

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A third Chinese tourist has died as a result of injuries sustained in Sunday’s traffic accident on the new Kulen Mountain road in Siem Reap province’s Phnom Kulen National Park. FACEBOOK

Third Chinese tourist dies after Kulen Mountain crash

A third Chinese tourist has died as a result of injuries sustained in Sunday’s traffic accident on the new Kulen Mountain road in Siem Reap province’s Phnom Kulen National Park.

Two female Chinese tourists died on Sunday and several people were injured after the minivan they were travelling in overturned on the Kulen Mountain road which is currently under construction.

Siem Reap provincial police chief Tith Narong told The Post on Wednesday that the third victim, 56-year-old Liu Huaxiang, succumbed to his injuries at 8:30am on Wednesday morning after three days of medical care at Siem Reap province’s Reaksmey Angkor International Hospital.

Narong said Liu had entered Cambodia on July 16 via Siem Reap International Airport and was travelling with Chhang Yong Tourism.

He said Lui was staying at Seven Happy Nights Hotel in Wat Bo village in Siem Reap city’s Sala Kamroeuk commune.

“According to the medical assessment of doctors at Reaksmey Angkor [hospital], he died from serious internal injuries,” Narong said. His body would be sent to the crematorium at Kokchak Pagoda.

On Sunday, a tourist minivan with 13 Chinese nationals on board was found overturned on the way down the eastern side of Kulen Mountain.

All the passengers were injured but the Cambodian driver fled the scene before the police arrived. Police said on Tuesday that they were preparing a case to be sent to the provincial court.

The two female passengers who died on Sunday have been named as Cao Jie, 59, from Liaoning province and Hou Yujie, 17, from Hebei province. They passed away on their way to the hospital shortly after the crash.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Several people were injured after the minivan they were travelling in overturned on the Kulen Mountain road. FACEBOOK

Hour Hong Meng, the deputy head of the Svay Leu district traffic bureau, who inspected the crime scene and helped rescue the passengers, told The Post the accident was caused by “the driver’s negligence and carelessness”.

He said the road is steep with many turns and either the vehicle’s brakes were faulty or was being driven too fast.

People who witnessed the accident said it was the fault of the tourism company, Chhang Yong Tourism because it had hired a driver who was unprofessional and not qualified for the job.

Siem Reap traffic office deputy head Chet Chhat told The Post on Wednesday that the provincial police had discovered that the minivan was registered under the name Neang Samart, a resident of Siem Reap province’s Slor Kram district, but this was the vehicle’s original owner, not the current owner – who has yet to be identified.

“We have issued a summoning letter asking Neang Samart to answer questions on Thursday and to look for the identity of the new vehicle owner and the driver so we can investigate further and prepare a case to be sent to the court.

“The police are preparing to summon a representative of the tourism company to answer questions about the accident and explain why there was no tourist guide accompanying them during their visit to Kulen Mountain.

“The police will issue a summoning letter requesting the people who are in charge of the company to answer questions because another passenger has died. This case badly affects tourism in Cambodia,” he said.

Chhang Yong Tourism, based in Siem Reap city’s Svay Dangkum commune, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday as calls to them went unanswered.

Kelvin Tan, Asia market task force leader of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (Cata), which has some 300 members, said he had to protect the interests of his members by explaining that the accident was not the responsibility of the tourism company because the day of the incident was a holiday.

He said it was not part of a tourism package as the Chinese tourists had rented a vehicle online and visited the area by themselves.

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