Dec 9, 2010


Cambodia's Diamond bridge reopened after stampede tragedy

  • Dec 9, 2010
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  • Cambodia's diamond bridge at the Diamond Island is re-opened on Wednesday after over two weeks of closure since the stampede tragedy on Nov. 22 that killed 353 people.

    A Buddhist ceremony was held on Wednesday morning with monks chanting and praying for happiness.
    Kep Chuktema, governor of Phnom Penh Municipality, and the owner of the Diamond Island, Pung Kheav Se, participated in the ceremony at the foot of the bridge.

    Five monks have walked through the bridge by spraying holy water to the bridge in order to drive away back luck and bring in good luck for traffic.
    "Traditionally, Buddhist ceremony is held to celebrate any event in Cambodia. Today is a good day to re-open the bridge for traffic," Kep Chuktema told reporters after the ceremony.

    He said that two more bridges will be built soon in parallel with the tragic bridge.
    "The city hall will try all its efforts to develop the Diamond Island," he said.
    A stupa to remember the dead will be constructed in the north of the tragic bridge, he added.
    "The tragedy is a big lesson for us and it will be as an experience to manage overcrowded people in the future," he said.
    The stampede tragedy happened on Nov. 22, the final day of the Water Festival, at Diamond Island's bridge, killing 353 people and injuring 393 others, according to the latest figure from the government released on Monday. It was triggered by a panic of crowd on the bridge.

    Cambodia's Water Festival from Nov. 20 to 22 is the largest annual festival in the Southeast Asian nation, around three million Cambodians, especially those from rural areas converged to the city to enjoy the regatta.

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