Woman Dies in Fire After Car Crash; Drivers Remain at Large

A 30-year-old woman burned to death early Sunday morning in Phnom Penh after two cars traveling alongside each other crashed then slammed into two houses before bursting into flames, police said.

Two Toyota Camry sedans were driving alongside one another on National Road 5 in Russei Keo district when one veered into the other, causing both to lose control and slam into the houses, which also caught fire, deputy municipal police chief Seng Chanthon said.

“We received information that a Toyota Camry car collided with another Camry car at about 1 a.m. in the middle of Saturday night, and then the two cars crashed into the nearby houses,” Mr. Chanthon said.

The dead woman, identified by police only as Ena, was trapped inside one of the sedans and burned to death in her seat, while the drivers of both vehicles fled the scene and are still at large, he said.

Mr. Chanthon said police were unsure whether the car crash had been an accident or a deliberate act.

“We are now investigating to find the real reason for the crash. We have to find out what the relationship between the two car owners is and why the cars crashed,” he said, adding the vehicles had been impounded.

District police chief Teang Chansa said the blaze caused by the crash had been so large that it gutted the two houses.

“We arrived at the scene immediately as two houses were blazing and stopped the fire,” he said, adding that the two families living in the houses escaped unharmed.

Mr. Chansa said that he could not confirm local media reports that the two cars involved in the crash had been seen trying to ram into each other shortly before slamming into the houses.

“We are now gathering information from people living around the area. It is difficult for us to get information about the crash because the accident happened around midnight and people were asleep,” he said.

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