At least 19 people have been killed and around 30 are missing after a huge fire devastated a hotel-casino complex in Cambodia. “The death toll could exceed 20,” said Sek Sokhom, head of the Banteay Meanchey provincial information department. Sixty people were injured, he said.
At least 19 dead in Cambodia's Grand Diamond City casino-hotel fire
Authorities said the fire at the Grand Diamond City Casino and Hotel in the border city of Poipet started late Wednesday evening.
Sithi Loh, police chief in Banteay Meanchey province, said 360 emergency personnel and 11 firefighters had been dispatched to the scene and rescue teams were searching for the victims.
Khieu Sopheak, an interior ministry spokesman, said it was unclear how many people were still inside the building.
“We don't know how many are trapped inside and we're just trying to save lives now,” he said, adding that the cause of the fire is still unclear. About 400 people are employed by the casino.
Social media videos showed people appearing to jump from the upper floors of the hotel.
Footage shared by the Ruamkatanya Foundation, a volunteer Thai rescue team that watched the operation with Reuters, showed a crew in a building's fire stairwell donning breathing masks and fire-resistant hoods before entering a corridor filled with smoke.
The Cambodian authorities have asked Thailand for assistance in the rescue operations.
Poipet in western Cambodia is opposite Thailand's wealthiest town of Aranyaprathet.
The area is known for its heavy cross-border trade and tourism.
Casinos are an important part of the tourism industry in Cambodia.
It has casino complexes in Phnom Penh and along its borders with Vietnam and Thailand.
[Disclaimer: This story was automatically generated by a computer program and was not created or edited by Journalpur Staff. Publisher: Journalpur.com]
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