26 Nov 2010

Day of mourning held in Cambodia

6:00 am on 26 November 2010

A day of mourning has been held in Cambodia for those killed in a festival stampede.

Prime Minister Hun Sen joined officials and grieving relatives for a religious ceremony at the footbridge where the tragedy happened.

The social affairs ministry now says some 350 people died in the crush, 100 fewer than it said on Wednesday.

A preliminary investigation has found that the swaying of the bridge near the capital, Phnom Penh, triggered a panic on Monday. Between 7000 - 8000 are thought to have been on the bridge at the time.

The prime minister lit incense and laid a wreath near the bridge now cleared of shoes, clothing and plastic bottles that had been a grim reminder of the stampede.

His wife cried as a military band played. Other government officials also paid their respects.

Flags flew at half mast at government buildings across the capital. The BBC reports most schools were closed and dozens of uniformed school children carrying flowers attended the early morning ceremony.