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At least 10 killed and dozens injured in Cambodia casino hotel fire | Cambodia

Written by Thailand News

At least 10 people have died and dozens have been injured in a fire that engulfed a casino hotel in Cambodia late on Wednesday, officials have said.

Multiple videos shared online showed flames erupting from the Grand Diamond City hotel and casino in Poipet, a popular commuter town on the border with Thailand, as hundreds of rescue workers struggled to contain the blaze.

Footage showed the massive complex ablaze, with some clips appearing to show people trapped inside the burning building while others jumped from windows as rescuers tried to reach them.

A provisional police report seen by Agence France-Presse said “about 10 people died and 30 people injured”, adding that about 400 individuals were believed to be working at the casino.

Local media reported that foreign nationals were inside the casino at the time of the fire.

Nhem Phoeng, Poipet administrative chief, told the Phnom Penh Post that more than 400 people, most of them Thais, became stuck inside the casino. He said most of the deceased were Cambodian and Thai employees.

Major General Sithi Loh, the police chief in Banteay Meanchey province, said many of the injured were believed to be in a critical condition, adding that 360 emergency personnel and 11 fire trucks were sent to the scene as rescue teams continue to search for victims.

The cause of the fire so far remains unclear.

Thai rescue workers told CNN they responded to emergency calls from Cambodian authorities to help tackle the blaze on the third floor of the hotel. The fire broke out about 11.30pm local time, Cambodian police said.

A Thai regional government official from the adjacent town of Aranyaprathet, which abuts Poipet, said the fire spread to a 17-storey building nearby.

Pruk Chomcheewin Aui Song Sahai, secretary to the town’s mayor, uploaded a video of the inferno, purportedly live from the scene. He said authorities were continuing to search for survivors and the deceased.

Rescue workers lower people to the ground as a fire rages at the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino in Poipet, Cambodia.
Rescue workers lower people to the ground as a fire rages at the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino in Poipet, Cambodia. Photograph: AFP

A Thai foreign ministry source also said they were coordinating closely with local authorities, with the injured transferred to hospitals in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province. “The authorities have been trying to control the fire including by sending in firetrucks from the Thai side,” they said.

A volunteer with Thai rescue group the Ruamkatanyu Foundation said the blaze started on the first floor but spread quickly along the carpets, leaping up through the multi-storey building.

Thai public broadcaster PBS said that 50 Thai nationals including hotel staff and customers were trapped inside the casino complex.

Parinya Phothisat, the governor of Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province said that one of those killed was a Thai national and 32 Thais were being treated in hospital.

Other reports have indicated the number of those injured and taken to hospital is much higher.

Authorities confirmed the fire was extinguished just after 11am local time on Thursday.

The Grand Diamond City is one of a number of casino-hotels clustered along the Thai-Cambodian border.

Agence France-Presse and Reuters contributed to this report


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