378 people were killed in a stampede in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh last night.
The horrific event took place at the final day of the annual Water Festival (Bon Om Thook) on Diamond Island, located on the outskirts of the capital city.
The stampede broke out on a bridge between the small island and the mainland after a concert, which marked the closing of the three-day festival.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan, said that the total casualties of the stampede now had reached over 1,000 with 378 people killed and 755 injured. But he added that this was not the final count.
Organisers believed that up to two million people had attended Monday’s closing ceremony, which included the popular boat races on the river Tonie Sap.
Australian Sean Ngu, who had witnessed the horrors of the stampede, told the BBC:
“There were too many people on the bridge and then both ends were pushing.”
“This caused a sudden panic. The pushing caused those in the middle to fall to the ground, then [get] crushed.”
He also explained that some people were electrocuted while trying to scramble to safety.
“Panic started and at least 50 people jumped in the river. People tried to climb on to the bridge, grabbing and pulling [electric] cables which came loose and electrical shock caused more deaths,” he said.
The government has declared Thursday a national day of mourning.