Cambodia Stampede Leaves At Least 345 Dead

Cambodia-StampedeA water festival in Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh was turned into a tragedy on Monday when at least 345 people were killed due to a stampede.

Authorities reported on Tuesday that the stampede occurred on a bridge connecting Phnom Penh and an island where people were celebrating the end of the Bon Om Touk water festival. The stampede reportedly ensued when people panicked after some festival-goers were electrocuted by lights that lined the bridge. Many of the dead were women, with drowning and suffocation believed to be the main cause of deaths. Others were also trampled when thousands of people tried to push each other in an effort to get out of the bridge.

At least 329 people were also injured in the stampede, which Prime Minister Hun Sen described as the worst tragedy in the country since the Khmer Rouge regime ended in 1979. “This is the biggest tragedy in more than 31 years after the Pol Pot regime,” he said. Hun Sen has ordered an investigation into the tragedy, but ruled out terrorism as a cause.