Five bodies found in Cambodia after boating accident
PHNOM PENH: The bodies of all five Singaporeans were recovered from the Tonle Sap River in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh on Sunday morning, following an accident involving a Singapore dragon boat team.
They have been identified as 20-year-old Chee Wei Cheng, 24-year-old Jeremy Goh Tze Xiong, 31-year-old Stephen Loh Soon Ann, 23-year-old Reuben Kee En Rui and 27-year-old Poh Boon San.
Their family members are presently in Cambodia.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry and Singapore's embassy in Cambodia will make the necessary arrangements for the repatriation of the bodies to Singapore.
The five men went missing after their boat capsized as it tried to dock on the Tonle Sap River after competing in a race during the water festival.
A holding area was set up outside the mortuary at the Calmette Hospital where the bodies were brought to.
Earlier, emotions ran high when family members went to identify the bodies.
The Singapore ambassador to Cambodia, Tan Yee Woan, and the president of the Dragonboat Association, Kwek Siew Jin, were on hand to render support to family members.
"We have provided facilities to try to help the families through this very trying time. I understand that they are in a very difficult situation. With the help of our ambassador here and the other embassy staff, together with support from many ministries back home, we will make all necessary travel arrangements," said Mr Kwek.
Deputy Secretary-General of Cambodia's National Disaster Management Team, Nhim Vanda, laid wreaths and offered prayers for the victims earlier in the day.
Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon also came to render help to the families of the victims.
A representative from the Indonesian dragon boat team offered wreaths for the deceased as well. He said the Indonesian team was saddened by the accident and added that the dragon boat teams from various countries are actually one big family.
More than 200 Cambodian navy sailors and fishermen, joined by seven divers and a medic from Singapore, scoured the river over the weekend in search for the missing men.
The Singapore boat was carrying 22 men when it capsized. Seventeen Singaporeans were also injured in the accident, which happened on the first day of races.
These members are expected to fly home on Monday morning as scheduled.
Singapore's foreign ministry said in a statement that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had written to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to convey his "shock and sadness".