The United States has extended its ‘deep condolences’ for the nearly 350 lives lost during deadly stampede in Cambodia’s capital, as media outlets tried to confirm if rumours of water cannon being used could be confirmed.
“On behalf of President (Barack) Obama and the people of the United States, I offer our deep condolences for the tragic loss of life and the injuries in Phnom Penh during Cambodia’s annual Water Festival,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, AFP reported.
Cambodia has begun the grim task of identifying 347 people – two thirds of them women — crushed to death in a bridge stampede when revellers panicked at a huge water festival in Phnom Penh.
Phil Bader of the Phnom Penh Post has told SBS his paper is trying to confirm whether rumours of water cannon being used can be confirmed.
Interview with Phil Bader of the Phnom Penh Post
Authorities confirmed that panic broke out, but the reasons are unclear. Reporters said there was water at the scene, but it is unclear if indeed police fired water, and whether they may have used it to cool revellers, or to move them along, Bader told SBS.
Bader also told SBS that many of the deaths look like they may have been caused by execution, doctors told reporters from the paper.
More than 400 people were also injured in the disaster, Cambodia’s deadliest in decades, which took place late Monday on an overcrowded narrow bridge as millions celebrated the end of the annual three-day event.