Truck Driver Flees Scene After Bridge Collapses

A bridge collapsed in Kompong Cham province Wednesday night after a driver attempted to cross it in a truck that was more than four times over the bridge’s weight limit, officials said Thursday.

Mok Bavy, deputy Kang Meas district police chief, said the truck loaded with firewood destroyed the Pur Sala Bridge, which links Kang Meas and Prey Chhor districts, at about 11 p.m. Wednesday.

The Pur Sala Bridge in Kompong Cham province's Kang Meas district lies in ruins Thursday after the driver of an overloaded truck attempted to cross it on Wednesday night. (Mok Bavy)
The Pur Sala Bridge in Kompong Cham province’s Kang Meas district lies in ruins Thursday after the driver of an overloaded truck attempted to cross it on Wednesday night. (Mok Bavy)

Mr. Bavy said two men named Vin Vat, 29, and Linh Nat, 33, who were traveling in the truck and employed by its owner, had identified the driver only as “Sambath.” They told police the driver fled on foot before officers arrived at the scene.

The deputy police chief said the workers claimed to know nothing about the owner of the truck because they were only temporary employees.

“We are searching for the truck owner because he is responsible for destroying this bridge,” said Mr. Bavy, adding that the two workers were being detained at the district police station.

District governor Moeun Pha lambasted the driver for attempting to cross the small metal bridge, which was built in 2000.

“This bridge is for vehicles that weigh less than five tons but that truck weighed more than 20 tons so the bridge could not support it,” Mr. Pha said. “The owner of the truck must be responsible for this.”

“The overloaded truck tried to cross during the night when no commune police officials were observing there,” he added. “We do not keep the officials there at night because we are worried someone will blame us for having an illegal checkpoint.”

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