15 Hurt as Tourist Bus Overturns

A bus full of tourists overturned while driving on National Road 6A in Kompong Cham province on Tuesday, leaving all 15 passengers with varying degrees of injury, police said yesterday.

Five passengers were sent to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh with serious injuries, according to Meas Chanthon, provincial deputy director of public order police.

The accident occurred at around 12 pm in Santuk district’s Tbong Krapoeu commune, Mr Chanthon said. The driver was distracted by cattle on the road and braked sharply, he said. The bus then skidded for around 25 meters before flipping over.

“Now we are searching for the owner of the bus and the owner of the cattle,” he said, adding that the driver fled the scene before police arrived.

Twelve of the passengers were foreign tourists–from France, the US, China, Holland, India, South Korea and New Zealand–according to Mr Chanthon.

Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, called on local authorities to take a more active role in overseeing bus companies by providing more training and education for drivers, and applying strict punishments to companies that failed to maintain safety standards.

“It would be good to have a commitment from local authorities to overcome these obstacles,” he said.

Ung Chun Hour, director-general of the department of transport at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said it was difficult to identify those bus companies who did not keep their vehicles in good order.

“Most operators do carry out checks and regulation, but a few others do not,” he said.


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