Disasters & Accidents

Search continues for victims of Cambodia casino fire

Bangkok Desk, Dec 30 (EFE).- Emergency teams from Cambodia and Thailand continued the search Friday for possible victims of the fire that devastated a hotel-casino in the border city of Poipet.

Local officials say least 19 people died in the blaze that started late Wednesday night, although the number of fatalities is expected to rise considerably after a full search of the 18-storey building.

Authorities also report of dozens of injured people, many of whom have been transferred to Thailand, which also sent in fire trucks.

The search mission resumed Friday morning after it was temporarily suspended Thursday night due to fears of part of the building collapsing and due to lack of light.

The fire started on Wednesday around 11.30 pm local time (15:30 GMT) at the Grand Diamond City Hotel and Casino and took more than nine hours to bring the flames under control, according to authorities.

Rescue teams used helicopters to evacuate people who had climbed onto the roof, and some people jumped from the building to avoid flames and smoke.

It is believed casino has around 400 employees and the cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Poipet, a key town on the route that connects the Cambodian tourist city of Siem Reap and the Thai capital, is famous for its casinos on the border with Thailand, where gambling is illegal. Gambling is also illegal in Cambodia for Cambodian citizens. EFE


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