Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cambodia: Japanese Tourist, 21, Killed in Roller Coaster Crash in Siem Reap Province

Saki Takita, 21, a female tourist from Aomori Prefecture, who arrived in Cambodia on Wednesday (March 20), was a passenger on a provincial roller coaster in the country's Siem Reap province on Friday (March 22), when the roller coaster cars suddenly left their tracks and crashed.

Situated in the front-most car of the roller coaster was Takita and a Cambodian tour guide, who were the only passengers on the ride.

Local police said that three people working at the amusement park were immediately arrested after the derailment, which is thought to have been caused by a loose bolt due to a faulty inspection of the ride.

COMMENT: Our prayers and condolences go out to Ms. Takita and her family and hope that they find peace and comfort during this period of grief.

Home to the Angkor Wat temple complex, the northern province of Siem Reap is Cambodia’s main tourist hub.

As I have often emphasized to all foreign travelers, particularly those from developed nations, it is a prudent choice to avoid amusement parks, high-risk modes of transportation, tour buses and the like in countries known to have very lax oversight and inspection of vehicles of all forms, as life and liability are often not valued as they are in developed nations.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry and the Japanese Embassy in Phnom Penh are assisting Ms. Takita's family with repatriation of her body to Japan and in handling consular matters.