Another train collision on northern line in Poipet

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A police officer points to damage on a train that collided with a soil-laden truck in the border town of Poipet. Supplied

Another rail accident has occurred on the newly opened northern railway line in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town, this time when a truck was attempting to cross the tracks and was struck by the train, injuring the vehicle’s driver.

The collision follows a similar accident on Saturday and another collision three weeks ago, both of which caused minor injuries to people travelling in the vehicles involved. The line, opened on April 4, connects Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town and Mongkol Borey district, and is part of a line that will connect Phnom Penh to Thailand once completed.

The truck, laden with soil and driven by Phuong Pich, was attempting to cross the tracks despite seeing the oncoming train, and was hit in the rear end causing it to turn over into a nearby ditch, said Chhoeun Buntha, Poipet’s traffic police chief.

“According to the claim of the villagers living nearby, the traffic accident on the railway was caused by the truck driver,” he said.

Buntha said Pich received stitches to his head, a cut to his right cheek and an injured right leg. Additionally, he had to pay $1,500 in compensation to the train operator for damage caused to the hydraulic system of the train.

“The train operator just agreed to take only $1,500 from the truck driver to end the case,” he said, adding that the initial compensation request was $4,000.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Ly Borin said authorities would increase awareness among people to be careful while crossing the tracks and refrain from growing crops and sitting near the tracks.

“Those walking or travelling in vehicles across the rail tracks need to respect the priority of the train and wait for the train to pass first before crossing,” he said.

Representatives at Royal Railways, the concessionaire that operates the rail line, could not be reached for comment on Monday.