Cambodian boat accident kills 11: Three, including 15-year-old boat operator, detained

Cambodian police said on Saturday (October 15) that three people have been detained, including a 15-year-old operator of a boat that sank, killing 11 children. 

The small overloaded boat carrying students home from their school sank in the Mekong River late Thursday (October 13). The boat was carrying students aged between 12 and 15 back from a class. 

News agencies have stated that the boat carried 18 people from a school on the other side of the river. Seven people survived the accident. 

Provincial police chief Chhoeun Sochet told Reuters that the incident occurred on Thursday in Kandal province about 53 kilometres (33 miles) southeast of the capital Phnom Penh. 

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“This case is caused by the boat owner overloading the vessel, carelessness, and there were no life jackets for protection,” he said in a social media post. 

The three individuals had been detained for questioning over the incident, local police chief Am Thou told AFP. “They may have to face legal action. We are looking into what charges they may face,” he said. 

Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his condolences and ordered respective authorities to assist victims’ families. He also warned people to be cautious during heavy flooding, as the water level in the Mekong River has been raised. 


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