Cambodia Bridge Tragedy

Nov 22 2010: Cambodia Bridge stampede: Emergency workers in Cambodia are continuing their search for bodies after the deaths of at least 378 people in a crush at the Water Festival.

The country's prime minister has announced a day of mourning on Thursday for the victims. Charlotte Melville, travel writer from London gives an eyewitness account.

I was on my way home with a friend at about 22:30, trying to get through the crowds stuck in gridlock around the Independence Monument. A couple of ambulances were trying to get through the crowds.

Three or four further ambulances came past heading south, followed by several police bikes going dangerously fast through the crowds, that were several hundred thousand-strong and presumably oblivious to what was going on.

The manageress at the hotel where I'm staying lost her friend in the crush. She said that a group of teenagers were fighting on the bridge.

Apparently people panicked as the crowd pushed back away from the fighting boys on the north bridge and people were crushed.

The GCP event was set to begin at 22:00, a little before the eyewitness says she became aware of serious problems, to continue for 6 hours while news of the tragedy spread to the world. The result is Chisquare 21203.491 on 21600 df, for p = 0.972 and Z = -1.911. This result is opposite our prediction, but is unusually strong and appears to reflect something of the tragedy.

Cambodia Bridge

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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