More than two day after hundreds of people were crushed to death in a huge tightly packed crowd on the last night of a Cambodian Water festival near the town of Lottapoor, the real reasons are beginning to surface.
A prank conjured by two teenage girls involving a "mythical toll" which was to be implemented at midnight, sparked rumors which spread like a firestorm, that unless the toll was forthcoming, people wouldn't be allowed to leave the festival, which had attracted some three million people. Weary, hungry, and irritable the unreasoning crowd, attempting to leave before the Midnight "free" deadline, pressed in upon itself, causing the bridge to sway.
Although the bridge was strung along both railings with colorful lights, local police attempted to control the unruly crowd by firing high pressure water hoses. Tragically, the water streams striking both the crudely strung lights and the crowd acted as charged conduits and electrocuted countless people who were pressed against the rail. Ravenous Mekong catfish, two meters long, took advantage of the victims who helplessly fell into the water below.
"Poor bridge construction, the antics of two playful little girls, and the ineptitude of authorities to react in a timely manner" were all blamed, by Phnom Penh, for contributing to the disaster. "The railing will be insulated at next year's festival" a spokesman stated, "and the little girls will still be doing laundry for the Magdalena Sisters in Kilkenny, where they can learn a useful trade while doing no one any harm".