Backgrounder: Chronology of the world's worst stampedes since start of 2010
PHNOM PENH, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- At least 347 people were killed and 394 others injured in a stampede on Monday night as millions of Cambodians celebrated the last day of the three-day annual Water Festival in the capital Phnom Penh.
People stand near the bodies of the stampede victims in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov. 23, 2010. At least 339 people were killed in a stampede on Monday night as millions of Cambodians celebrated the annual water festival in the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on state TV early Tuesday. The accident took place on a bridge that connects the city with the Diamond Island which has become the center of celebrations. (Xinhua/Phearum)
The death toll has increased to 339 with other 329 people injured in the stampede, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a live televised speech early Tuesday. But Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said later that the death toll rose to 347 and the number of injured climbed to 394.
"This is the biggest death toll since Pol Pot regime and even flood has never inflicted such a high death toll," Hun Sen said. But he added that "Urgent investigation showed that it has nothing to do with terrorism."
"Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my condolence to all victims and their relatives," Hun Sen said.
The prime minister announced Nov. 25 as the national mourning day to commemorate those people killed in the stampede.
Meanwhile, he urged the doctors to do their best to save the injured people and ordered investigation into the cause.
Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said a national level committee was established to investigate the horrific stampede.
Sok An said the committee divided into three sub-committees: the forensic examination sub-committee led by the Health Minister Mam Bun Heng, the corpse and injured people settlement sub- committee led by the Minister of Social Affairs Ith Samheng, and the investigation sub-committee led by Prum Sokha, secretary of state for the Interior Ministry.
"The committee will deal with all work relevant to the accident, " he said.
The accident took place on a bridge that connects the city with the Diamond Island which has became the center of celebrations. Some of the panicky people tried to flee over the bridge and crushed underfoot while a number of them fell over the bridge into the water.