CAMBODIA: Funerals take place for victims of crashed Cambodian plane as worried tourists contemplate travel plansRecord ID: 382054
- Title: CAMBODIA: Funerals take place for victims of crashed Cambodian plane as worried tourists contemplate travel plans
- Date: 30th June 2007
- Summary: (ASIA) PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (JUNE 29, 2007) VARIOUS OF FUNERAL FOR CAMBODIAN PILOT OF CRASHED PMT AIR FLIGHT VARIOUS OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS CRYING PHOTOGRAPH OF PILOT VARIOUS OF FUNERAL CASKET BEING BROUGHT OUT OF FUNERAL AND BEING PLACED IN PAGODA VARIOUS OF PRAYERS AT PAGODA FIREWORKS MORE OF FUNERAL PRAYERS VARIOUS OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS CRYING
- Reuters ID: LVADLZCGIHFVY4FF9LOSDATCJPFX
- Location: Cambodia
- Country: Cambodia
- Duration: 00:01:48
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Travel / Tourism
- Story Text: Family members mourn for the victims of a crashed Cambodian plane as tourists contemplate how they can ensure safety during their travels.
Family members gathered for the funeral of victims of a Cambodian plane which crashed on Monday (June 25), killing 22 people.
Among the mourners was Chan Sen, the wife of the Cambodian pilot who steered the plane through difficulty before it crash landed the Phnom Damrei, or Elephant Mountains.
Sen arrived at the Russian Hospital in Phnom Penh on Thursday (June 28) where she collected her husband's body ahead of his funeral.
"I heard that my husband's body is here, so I came to see and then I will take his body to have the funeral at the pagoda," she told reporters on Thursday.
The funeral took place on Friday (June 29) in the Cambodian capital where hundreds gathered to hear Buddhist prayers and see his casket placed on a ritual pagoda alongside burning flares.
Sen was one of two Cambodian co-pilots on board the plane. The rest of the crew were also Cambodian -- one engineer and two flight attendants.
Rescue teams found the wreckage of the plane on Wednesday (June 27). It was carrying 22 people, including 13 Korean and three Czech tourists. There were no survivors.
Rescuers who spent two days battling heavy rain and low clouds in the jungle terrain 150 km (90 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh, had recovered the bodies of three men and four women.
Work continued throughout Thursday and Friday to pull the other bodies out of the wreckage before taking them to Phnom Penh for identification and repatriation.
The plane, operated by Phnom Penh-based carrier PMT Air, vanished from radar screens on Monday during a flight from Siem Reap, home to the famed 800-year-old Angkor Wat temple complex, to the coastal resort of Sihanoukville.
Air services between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville resumed in January after a prolonged hiatus during the impoverished southeast Asian nation's civil war.
The reopening of the route was touted as another sign of the former French colony's accelerating recovery from the destruction wrought by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge during their four years in power from 1975 to 1979.
After the crash, one of Cambodia's main tour operators, World Express Tours and Travel (WET), said it had received a lot of feedback from worried tourists.
The company's managing director Ho Vandy said he told customers not to worry as accidents happened all around the world and were not confined to Cambodian planes.
"All of us felt bad when we heard about the incident, but that will go away after a while, because these crashes happen everywhere in the world and also there is no result yet from the black box about the cause of the crash," Vandy said.
But he admitted that many of the Cambodian planes were old.
"Yes, there has been feedback from my customers regarding transportation. When they come to buy tickets, they always ask us now if we have new taxis, boats and planes, and we tell them that we have new ones, but in fact there are some old ones that are not safe and need to change," he added.
Cambodia attracts millions of tourists every year and enjoyed visits from more than 1.7 million tourists in 2006, most of them drawn to Angkor Wat.
Following Monday's incident, most said they would still visit Cambodia, but would think of being extra careful when researching their transport.
"No, it doesn't scare me from flying at all. I will choose my airline very carefully though. So I only will fly on very well-known airlines," Australian tourist James Harper told Reuters Television.
Investigators say the crash was caused by bad weather, not a technical fault, confirming speculation the 44-seat turboprop's Russian pilot had deviated from his flight path to avoid a monsoon storm cloud and flown into the mountain.
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- Embargoed:15th July 2007 13:00
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