An investigation into the deadly stampede that resulted in hundreds of deaths in Phnom Penh Monday has reported that the panic was sparked when thousands of people tried to flee after the bridge they were on began swaying.
AP - An investigation into a stampede at a festival in the Cambodian capital that killed hundreds of revelers initially concluded it was set off when a crowded bridge started swaying and caused mass panic.
Bayon TV, which serves as a mouthpiece for the government, reported Wednesday an official committee set up to probe Monday’s tragedy found many people on the bridge were from the countryside and unaware it was normal for a suspension bridge to sway. In their fear it was collapsing, they tried to run off.
The TV report gave the total number of casualties as 750, of whom 350 died, which was lower than the 378 dead and 755 injured officials announced Tuesday. Asked about the discrepancy, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said Wednesday the official toll was 351 dead and 395 injured.
The report said the committee based its conclusions on investigations and the testimony of witnesses.
The tragedy happened when tens of thousands of panicked people attended a free concert on an island in the Bassac River in Phnom Penh. As many as 2 million people are believed to have come to the capital for celebrations of a three-day holiday marking the end of the monsoon rain season.
Date created : 2010-11-24