Reading the news and hearing our Khmer relatives and neighbors talk about it is just heart wrenching. Last night, in what was supposed to be a happy occasion as the whole Phnom Penh was celebrating the finale of their annual three day Water Festival, tragedy struck.
I’m not about to rehash what has happened, so please do check out this article (the latest as of time of posting) – At least 378 die in stampede at Cambodian festival and the Phnom Penh Post for the latest news.
We actually found out early on last night when one of my sister’s students posted an update on her Facebook page that an ‘incident’ happened in Koh Pich. I didn’t really pay much heed coz I simply assumed there was some of your usual disturbance during large festive gatherings. I didn’t have any inkling that it was something as tragic as this.
Then about an hour later I wondered why I kept hearing ambulance sirens shrieking all over. Our place is near Russian Hospital where a good number of injured were also brought. That’s when we knew, this isn’t some simple fluke or incident. I didn’t get much sleep but knowing that no one among my husband’s relatives was anywhere near there, was a temporary relief.
This morning, woke up early to check updates and what greeted me where photos and they were all grim. Till now I could just manage to look at only a few of them without feeling short of breath. But if you’re up to it, do take a look at this slideshow. Do visit also my friend, Sreisaat’s post. She has some links you might want to have a look at.
There’s a lot of talk now going on about investigations and such and frankly I’m not in the mood yet to get into it. I feel that those victims deserves some justice and though some would point out that this was a tragedy, an accident, still I keep thinking that authorities already know and have even said that they are expecting at least 2 million people to be present so I should expect there are enough contingency and crowd control measures taken to avoid incidents like this..
An hour ago I also passed by near Russian hospital and there is a lot of people there, relatives looking for missing loved ones, families of the injured etc, and I just feel so sad for them. For now though, let me just offer our condolences to those who lost their loved ones and prayers for quick recovery of those who were injured.
May all be free from sorrow,
and the causes of sorrow,
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless.