A stampede during an annual water festival in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on Monday left at least 330 people dead, according to state TV reports, and the toll is likely to rise. More than two million people are taking part in the festival.
A stampede during an annual water festival in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on Monday left at least 330 people dead, state television reported.
"This is the biggest tragedy since the Pol Pot regime," Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a live television broadcast, referring to the leader of the brutal regime that ruled between 1975 and 1979.
The panic started on Koh Pich -- Diamond Island -- a long spit of land in the river where a concert was being held. Soft drink vendor So Cheata said the trouble began when about 10 people fell unconscious in the press of the crowd. She said that set off a panic, which then turned into a stampede, with many people caught underfoot.
Ambulances raced back and forth the river to the hospital for several hours after the stampede, while onlookers and relatives waited outside. The hospital was closed to outsiders, including the press.
IN PICTURES: Cambodia's deadly stampede
A stampede on a bridge in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh killed hundreds of people late on Monday and wounded hundreds more many after thousands panicked on the last day of a water festival.
According to witnesses, the stampede began after several people fell unconscious on a small bridge connecting Phnom Penh to nearby Diamond island. Ambulances raced back and forth between the river and hospitals for several hours.
Calmette hospital, the capital's main medical facility, was filled to capacity with bodies as well as patients.
Prime Minister Hun Sen described the chaos as the "biggest tragedy" to strike the country since the communist Khmer Rouge's reign of terror in the 1970s.
Date created : 2010-11-22