Royal condolences to Cambodia on stampede

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send messages of condolence to His Majesty King Norodom Sihomani, King of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia following the loss of lives caused by a stampede at the water festival in Cambodia.

In the message to His Majesty King Norodom Sihomani, His Majesty the Sultan expressed his great sadness upon learning of the incident and His Majesty on behalf of the government and people of Brunei Darussalam offered heartfelt condolences to His Majesty King Norodom Sihomani and his people, especially those who have suffered losses as a result of this tragic incident.

In a similar message to Prime Minister Hun Sen, His Majesty stated that he was deeply saddened to learn of the great loss of lives caused by the incident. His Majesty, the government and people of Brunei Darussalam expressed their deepest sympathies to Hun Sen and the people of Cambodia.

Rescuers trawled a muddy river Tuesday for more bodies and Cambodia prepared for a day of mourning following the stampede by thousands of festival goers that left at least 378 dead and over 700 injured, AP reported.

A panic-stricken crowd - celebrating the end of the rainy season on an island in a river - tried to flee over a narrow bridge in the capital of Phnom Penh late Monday. Many people were crushed underfoot or fell over its sides into the water. Disoriented victims struggled to find an escape hatch through the human mass, pushing in every direction.

Cambodia's prime minister called it the country's biggest tragedy since the murderous 1970s reign of the Khmer Rouge.

He ordered an investigation into the cause of the stampede and declared Thursday would be a national day of mourning. - Borneo Bulletin (24th November 2010)