Several dead found in fire-ravaged casino hotel

The search for more victims is still ongoing in the ruins of the Grand Diamond City hotel in the town of Poipet, on the border with Thailand.

The fire started around midnight on Thursday night and lasted for over twelve hours. On Friday morning, six new victims were found, some in their rooms, others in the stairs.

Christmas decorations

Thus, the total found 25 died, according to authorities in the province of Banteay Meanchey. It is feared that more may lie under building remains and in locked rooms.

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Brannen på hotellet Grand Diamond City pågikk natt til torsdag. Foto: Fresh News / AP / NTB

The fire at the Grand Diamond City hotel continued on the night of Thursday. Photo: Fresh News/ AP/ NTB

The hotel was decorated with Christmas and New Year decorations with lots of lights, and the investigation so far links them to the fire.

— They may have overloaded the complex electrical system, says a spokesperson for the authorities in Banteay Meanchey, according to the Khmer Times newspaper.

— Panicked

Many of the dead are believed to have died from smoke poisoning. Others died when they jumped from the 17-story building, according to Poipet Governor Keat Hul.

hotel and casino workers used fire extinguishers to put out the blaze, to no avail. People panicked and ran around, says Hul.

There must have been a great crowd when people tried to get out the main entrance, at the same time as black smoke flowed through the building.

Transported across the border

In Poipet there are a number of casinos that attract people from Thailand, where betting is illegal. At least eleven of those who died in the fire at Grand Diamond City are from Thailand, according to the Thai authorities.

Many of the injured have been transported across the border, where the healthcare system is better than in Cambodia.

Rescue crews from both countries participate in the search for the dead and injured in the ruins of the hotel.


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