Death toll in Cambodia’s building collapse rises to 18

Cambodian authorities said on June 23 that the death toll in a seven-storey building collapse in the southern province of Preah Sihanouk rose to 18, while the number of injured people was 24.

Rescuers work at the site of the building collapse (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Rescuers work at the site of the building collapse (Photo: AFP/VNA)

At least 1,000 rescue workers, soldiers, policemen, medics and construction experts have been deployed to the site of the accident that took place on June 22.

A provincial official forecast the death toll is likely to rise as teams have searched just about 40 percent of the debris and have yet to reach the bottom of the building.

The under-construction building in Sihanoukville is owned by a Chinese called Chen Kun and constructed by Xi Gang Tang Gong Gou Ji Haisao. 

Cambodian police have detained the owner of the building, the head of the construction firm and the contractor – all Chinese nationals – and a Cambodian landowner.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen conveyed his condolences to families of the victims, announcing that the government will donate 10,000 USD to each family of the deceased.

Chinese investment has flooded Sihanoukville in recent years, spurring a construction boom in the resort town known for its casinos which pull in mainland tourists. Between 2016 and 2018, 1 billion USD was invested by the Chinese government and private businesses in Preah Sihanouk province, according to official statistics.

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