A night bus operated by Rith Mony Transport burst into flames as it passed through Battambang city on Saturday night, killing one passenger and injuring five others, police said yesterday.
The bus was traveling from Poipet to Phnom Penh when flames appeared from the front of the bus as it passed through Omal commune at about 10pm, explained Heur Sophea, chief of Battambang city’s public order department.
“The dead man is Long Thae, who was 42 and lived in Poipet,” he said, adding that three of the injured passengers had received serious burns. He said police were still searching for the driver of the bus, who fled before police and firefighters arrived.
Battambang city police officer Samrith Oeun, a member of the investigation team, said the fire was likely caused by a fault in the bus’s electrics, which as well as completely destroying the bus, incinerated most of the passengers’ belongings. However, he said the investigation was being hampered by some of the passengers.
“We are finding it difficult to discover the full damage to people’s goods, as some of the victims are not cooperating with police, and instead are insisting on filing individual complaints with provincial police,” he said.
Lay Cheang, the Battambang provincial manager for Rith Mony Transport, stressed the company would pay compensation to the victims and to Mr. Thae’s family, but only upon receiving a detailed police report.
“Compensation must be paid to victims,” he acknowledged. “But we have not yet received a detailed report from the authorities,” he said, adding that the police report would determine how much compensation would be paid.
The bus was traveling from Poipet to Phnom Penh before bursting into flames. Supplied