Sek Sokholm, head of the information department of Banteay Meanchey province, said there were fears many people may be buried under the rubble or trapped in closed rooms that rescue teams have not yet reached. In view of this, there is a possibility of increasing the number of dead.
At least 19 people have been killed and more than 60 injured in a massive fire that raged for more than 12 hours at a casino hotel in Cambodia. Many victims are yet to be traced. Neighboring Thailand has sent several fire engines to douse the blaze in the border area. Sek Sokholm, head of the information department of Banteay Meanchey province, said there were fears many people may be buried under the rubble or trapped in closed rooms that rescue teams have not yet reached. In view of this, there is a possibility of increasing the number of dead.
He said that more than 60 people were injured. He said that the dead and injured included citizens of several countries including Thailand, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Videos posted on social media showed people jumping from rooftops at the Grand Diamond City Casino & Hotel in the border town of Poipet engulfed in flames. Both staff and customers, mostly from neighboring Thailand, are trapped inside the hotel. In a video posted by Cambodia’s fire brigade, passers-by can be seen pleading for rescue of those trapped on the roof of the hotel complex.
In the video, a man can be seen jumping down from the roof after seeing it engulfed in flames. A passer-by shouted, “Oh, please save her.” Pour water… Pour water.” The Fire, Prevention and Rescue Department posted that at 4 a.m. calls for help were heard from the 13th, 14th and 15th floors, with hands indicating calls for help being seen from the windows and The signal was given by the torch of a mobile phone from inside the premises itself. Sokholm said on Thursday that the fire started around midnight on Wednesday and was brought under control around 2 a.m. on Thursday.
He said that preparations are being made to keep the dead bodies in the local Buddhist temple. The rescue operation is still underway. He also said that preliminary investigation revealed that the fire might have started due to increase in electrical load due to New Year decorations. The use of electricity increased due to the New Year’s decorations, due to which the wires would have got burnt due to overheating. Major General Sithi Loh, police chief of Banteay Meanchey province, said 11 fire engines and 360 emergency personnel were at the scene. About 400 personnel work in the casino.
“Right now we are trying to get the bodies out of the building,” said Montri Khaosa-ard, a member of the Thailand Ruamkatanyu Foundation, a social welfare organization that sent workers to the scene. I don’t think anyone is alive because there is only smoke. Even all of us (rescuers) have to wear special fire protection, otherwise we will not be able to breathe. happened. According to the news of Thailand’s state television network ‘Thai PBS’, 50 Thai citizens, including employees and tourists, were trapped in the casino complex.
Thai PBS reported that Cambodian authorities requested help from Thailand to deal with the situation, which sent five fire engines and 10 rescue vehicles to the scene. The city of Poipet in western Cambodia is close to Thailand’s affluent city of Aranyaprathet and a busy border with a large amount of trade and tourism. According to PBS, the emergency ward of Aranyaprathet Hospital was filled with patients and many of the victims were transferred to other hospitals.
Casinos are illegal in Thailand, but the industry is prevalent in neighboring countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. The casino industry is highly prevalent in Cambodia and the Southeast Asian country is a popular tourist destination. The Great Diamond City Casino is just meters from the border with Thailand and is popular with tourists who can reach it by a four-hour journey from Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.