I went to bed late this morning as I received a string of sms messages about the tragic scenes that unfolded at the end of the 3-day water festival here in Phnom Penh. And I awoke to see the aftermath scenes on television as a panicked crowd on a bridge leading to Koh Pich Island caused the deaths of more than 340 people and injured another 550. I decided against joining the party revelers for the festival this time around as I've experienced it before and the immense crowds on the streets make it difficult to actually get anywhere. Koh Pich is a recent addition to the places in the city where Cambodians love to go and hang out and free concerts drew massive crowds to the area. It used to be covered with grass and ramshackle dwellings but is now a development of conference and exhibition centres and attracts hordes of locals every weekend. However, access to the reclaimed island is limited and it was on one of the access bridges where the tragedy took place around 10pm last night. It's too early to say what took place with certainty, what caused the tragedy, but it has left so many people in a state of shock today in Phnom Penh.
Labels: Koh Pich Island