Five people were killed on Tuesday night when a bus with two flat tires smashed into a large truck transporting rice along National Road 5 in Pursat province, police said on Wednesday.
Twenty-four passengers also suffered injuries after the bus from the Reaksmey Phnom Penh Company careened into the truck while en route from Phnom Penh to Battambang province around midnight, said Em Run, Krakor district police chief.
“Two of the tires at the back-left of the bus were flat, causing it to crash into a truck transported unmilled rice in opposite direction,” Mr. Run said.
“A woman died immediately at the accident site and four other people died when they were at the Pursat Provincial Referral Hospital. Another 24 people suffered serious or minor injuries,” he said, adding that he did not yet know the identities of the victims.
Or Heang, deputy provincial police chief, said the bus driver, Nov Savin, 32, had been detained and laid the blame at the feet of the company.
“He also injured his eye and his chest and he was sent for treatment at the provincial hospital but we ordered our police to guard him,” Mr. Heang said.
“I think that the bus company must respond with civil compensation for all victims and the damage of the truck because the bus was in the wrong,” he said.
Moeu Kosal, a representative of the Reaksmey Phnom Penh Company, said the bus was transporting around 20 migrant workers who planned to cross into Thailand and that the company would provide compensation for the victims if it is proved to be at fault.
“I don’t know if the my company’s bus is in the wrong or right, but if our bus is in the wrong, the company will offer the compensation to the victims,” Mr. Kosal said.
“If both sides are in the wrong, we will donate some money to compensate the victims,” he said, adding that he would accompany the company president to Pursat this morning to “solve the case.”