Monday, November 22, 2010

Cambodian minister: 339 dead in stampede

Khieu Kanharith, the Cambodian Minister of Information, has said the death toll from the stampede has now reached 339.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on state-run TV he was unsure yet as to what caused the stampede.

"This needs to be investigated more," Hun Sen said, according to an AFP report.

Hun Sen said a committee would be set up to examine the incident.

The Associated Press, Reuters and AFP reported that witnesses said 10 people had either collapsed or become unconscious during the festival, triggering the panic.

That led, they reported, to people rushing towards a bridge headed towards Diamond Island. That's when things got worse, a witness told AFP.

"We were crossing the bridge to Diamond Island when people started pushing from the other side. There was lots of screaming and panic," 23-year-old Kruon Hay told AFP. "People started running and were falling over each other. I fell too. I only survived because other people pulled me up. Many people jumped in the water."

Sok Sambath, governor of the capital's Daun Penh district, told AFP "this is the biggest tragedy we have ever seen."

To read more: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/22/more-than-100-killed-in-cambodia-festival-stampede/?hpt=T2

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