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Two killed, nearly 50 injured in crashes

Garment workers rest at a medical facility in Preah Sihanouk province on Tuesday evening after they were involved in a traffic accident that left 27 injured and one person dead. National Police
Garment workers rest at a medical facility in Preah Sihanouk province on Tuesday evening after they were involved in a traffic accident that left 27 injured and one person dead. National Police

Two killed, nearly 50 injured in crashes

Forty-seven people were injured and two killed in just two road accidents this week, the latest in a series of accidents involving the unsafe transportation of workers.

Yesterday afternoon, a bus carrying Cambodia Mine Action Centre workers overturned in Oddar Meanchey province, resulting in one dead and 20 injured.

Tith Thoeun, a Trapaing Prasat district police officer, said the CMAC bus had swerved for 50 to 60 metres before hitting a pothole and rolling.

According to Phat Pheareak, secretary general of CMAC, of the 25 passengers onboard, 12 suffered severe injuries, while eight sustained light injuries.

In a separate accident on Tuesday evening, a precariously overloaded van carrying garment workers was involved in a five-vehicle accident in Preah Sihanouk resulting in the death of the van’s driver and 27 injuries.

The driver of the 12-seater minibus, Buth Savan, 55, died on the spot, while all 27 passengers were injured, seven of them seriously, according to Prom Pov, director of the Preah Sihanouk provincial traffic bureau.

The van was hit head on by a truck that swerved into oncoming traffic as it tried to avoid a collision between two other trucks in its lane on National Road 4.

“The truck crashed into the van strongly, causing the driver to die instantly,” Pov said, adding that the drivers of the other vehicles – a fifth in the stricken van’s lane was also hit – all fled the scene.

“We are investigating to find the drivers,” he said, adding “Speeding and reckless driving are to blame for the accident.”

A Ministry of Labour statement released yesterday said that three of the seriously injured were sent to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh.

A National Social Security Fund employee at Phnom Penh’s Calmette hospital who declined to be named said “their condition is OK”.

The authorities had not yet determined whether the drivers in either accident were licensed.

A spate of worker-transport vehicle accidents last month prompted the government to pledge that all truck drivers would be licensed by the end of 2016.

In mid-January, four workers, including one pregnant woman, were killed and 68 more injured when their overloaded truck plunged into a ditch in Kampong Speu province.

In May of last year, 18 were killed and more than a dozen injured when their minivan packed with 39 people, most of them garment workers, was struck head-on by a bus in Svay Rieng province.

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