12 Killed, 11 Injured in Kompong Cham Wreck

Twelve people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and 11 were injured in a car crash Tuesday morning in Kompong Cham province, officials said.

The accident occurred when a minibus crammed with 22 passengers driving north on National Road 6 in Cheung Prey district collided head-on with a truck transporting 2.5 tons of wheat flour, district police chief Heng Vuthy said.

“Among the 11 injured victims, seven are critically injured,” he said, adding that the collision occurred at 11 am as the van crossed into the opposing lane to turn left into a restaurant.

Heng Vuthy said the truck was traveling south to Phnom Penh from Kompong Cham’s Tbong Khmum district while the mini-bus was headed north to Kompong Cham’s Stung Tong district.

Of the three truck passengers only one was injured, Heng Vuthy said.

Heng Vuthy said alcohol was not involved in Tuesday’s accident.

Of the dead, 10 of the bodies were sent to their families and two were cremated at the provincial hospital Wednesday because they could not be identified, Heng Vuthy said.

Chum Thanny, provincial traffic police chief, said Kompong Cham province saw 51 traffic accidents in March that resulted in 16 deaths.

Drunk driving was a factor in more than 50 percent of the accidents, Chum Thanny said.

“Most drivers don’t understand the traffic law or understand how to use their own new vehicles and motorbikes,” he said.

In 2004, another car accident on National Road 6 in Cheung Prey district claimed 12 lives and left 25 people in critical condition.

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