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Road accidents kill 25 people in Pchhum Ben festival in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) — Road accidents had killed 25 Cambodian people and injured another 166 during the celebration of the country’s second largest religious festival, Pchhum Ben on Sept. 26-28, according to a report from the Ministry of Public Work and Transport on Thursday.

The report showed that a total of 75 road accidents happened nationwide during this year’s celebration, down 24 percent compared to 99 cases in last year’s celebration.

Preap Chan Vibol, director of the transport department of the Ministry of Public Work and Transport, said Thursday the number of the dead was still the same as that of last year, but the injured people have dropped 30 percent to 166 people from 239 injured in last year’s celebration.

The Pchhum Ben festival is the second largest religious festival in Cambodia after the Khmer New Year.

Road accidents caused by three main factors: over-speed driving, reckless, alcohol driving, and overtaking, he said.

The death toll of road accidents has become the No. 1 killer in Cambodia among those of HIV/AIDS and mine casualties.

In 2010, 1,816 people were killed by road accidents, and 70 percent of the deaths were motorcycle drivers, according to the reports by the ministry. The country lost 279 million U.S. dollars from road accidents last year.

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