Panic on bridge set off Cambodian stampede
Wednesday 24 November 2010
An investigation into a stampede that killed hundreds of revellers at a festival in the Cambodian capital has concluded it was set off when a crowded bridge started swaying, local media reported today.
Bayon TV, which serves as a mouthpiece for the government, said that the high-level committee set up to probe the Monday night tragedy found that many of the people on the bridge were from the countryside and unaware that it was normal for a suspension bridge to sway.
In their fear the bridge was collapsing, they tried to run off, the initial report said.
Officials have said that 378 people were killed and at least 755 injured in the stampede, but the TV report amended the number of casualties to 750, of whom 350 died. The reason for the discrepancy in the figures was not immediately clear.
The report said the committee based its conclusion on the cause of the stampede from investigations and testimony of witnesses. It happened when tens of thousands of panicked people tried to flee an island in the Bassac River in the capital, Phnom Penh.
Witnesses have criticised authorities for causing congestion by blocking a second bridge across the river despite the huge crowds that had gathered for the festival, and for a slow and confused emergency response.
Prime minister Hun Sen has described the stampede as the biggest tragedy since the communist Khmer Rouge's reign of terror, which left an estimated 1.7 million people dead in the late 1970s. He has declared a day of national mourning on Thursday.
Earlier today, tens of thousands of of residents across the capital lit candles and made offerings to appease the souls of those who died.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
General Election 2015: Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a duel over immigration question
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...