phnom sruoch district, Kompong Speu province – A bus carrying several dozen garment factory workers en route to a day at the Sihanoukville shore collided with a truck on National Route 3 early Sunday, killing 14 and seriously injuring 23 more, police said Sunday.
Minh Yoeun, 49, who lives near the accident scene in Prey Sdok village, Mahasang commune, said it was about 3:30 am when she heard a crash “like a bomb.”
Racing to the site, she and other villagers found the mangled remains of the two vehicles. They brought survivors to a local clinic about 30 meters away. Police and medical personnel did not arrive until about 5 am, she said.
“I have never seen such a serious accident in my life,” Minh Yoeun said. “It’s very brutal.”
Eleven people died at the scene and three others died later at Kompong Speu’s provincial hospital, said Thao Sivuth, deputy chief of the provincial police’s traffic section.
Two or three more were transported to a hospital in Phnom Penh, where they were in critical condition Sunday evening, said Y Bopha, a provincial hospital staffer.
The corridors of Kompong Speu provincial hospital were filled Sunday with frantic relatives searching for survivors. The bus passengers worked at the same garment factory in Sa’ang district, Kandal province.
“I was sleeping. When I woke up, I was at the hospital,” said Eng Linem, 20, who suffered a broken left leg. “I do not know how many of my friends died in the crash.”
The drivers of both vehicles fled the scene, Thao Sivuth said, although villagers reported that two others in the truck’s cab were killed. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
A representative of Kim Kong Travel, which operates the bus, said the driver of the truck was at fault for the accident. The bus’ driver was being treated at the private clinic, he added.
(Additional reporting by Kuch Naren)