>Civil suit possible to delve into dragon boat tragedy

>Distraught relatives of the drowned men arrived in Phnom Penh immediately after the accident and the dragonboat docked on the bank of the Mekong.

By Lynda Hong, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 31 May 2008 2146 hrs

SINGAPORE: The Safety Inquiry Panel that was set up to look into the dragon boat tragedy in Cambodia last November released its findings on Friday.

Five Singaporeans drowned in the Tonle Sap River when their dragon boat capsized at the end of a race at the Water Festival.

No one was blamed for the incident, but the panel found that the dragon boat team did not have an established procedure of risk assessments.

Although appeals against its findings are generally not allowed, family members can file a civil suit for more compensation. With that, they can have another shot at finding out who – if any – is responsible for the tragedy.

A lawyer in private practice said a civil suit will allow lawyers more time to find witnesses and evidence.

Lawyer Leonard Loo said: “It is not surprising that sometimes inquiry squad findings may be incomplete, in the sense, they may not have taken into consideration all the evidence and all the witnesses that may not be present in the place where the inquiry squad made their findings.

“For example, in this case, some of the witnesses could have been in Cambodia and some of the evidence could have been in Cambodia

– CNA/so

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