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Deadly Cambodian Stampede

More than 330 die in Cambodian festival stampede

Nov 22, 2010

More than 330 people died in a stampede on the final day of the Water Festivalin on a small Cambodian island.

The crush occurred on the island of Koh Pich following a traditional boat race along the Tonle Sap river on Monday evening.

The stampede took place on a bridge, which eyewitnesses said had become overcrowded.

Hundreds more people were injured in the crush.

Speaking in a live television broadcast, Hun Sen, the prime minister, described the stampede as the "biggest tragedy" to hit Cambodia since the mass killings carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.

"With this miserable event, I would like to share my condolences with my compatriots and the family members of the victims," Hun Sen said.

Prime minister said the government would arrange for the bodies of out-of-town visitors to be sent home.

AFP reports that police were seen carrying away some of the victims and bodies were laid in a row on the ground. Many of the dead appeared to be young Cambodians.

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

Dozens of people gathered outside the city's Calmette hospital, where at least 105 people were confirmed dead, according to a police officer.

Prime minister declared Thursday would be a national day of mourning, and ordered all government ministries to fly the flag at half-mast.

More than 330 die in Cambodian festival stampede
Hundreds were injured in the crush / Image via AP

Source: BBC, AFP, Aljazeera

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