At least 19 people are murdered in a casino fire as they leap from a ledge

At least 19 people are murdered in a casino fire as they leap from a ledge

At least 19 people were killed and it is thought that many more perished in a casino fire in Cambodia. A rescuer described how victims threw themselves from a ledge in an attempt to escape the flames.

Late Wednesday night, a fire broke out inside the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino in Poipet, within sight of the Thai border, according to Cambodian authorities.

“We have counted 19 bodies and bones so far,” said Sek Sokhom, director of the information department for the province of Banteay Meanchey in Cambodia, adding that “the number could be higher” as rescuers have not yet reached all areas of the complex.

A volunteer with the Thai rescue organization Ruamkatanyu Foundation who desired to remain nameless reported that his team arrived at approximately 2:00 a.m. ET observed individuals leaping from the structure.

“I saw individuals fleeing the building to escape the smoke,” he added, adding that a group also gathered on a rooftop to escape the fire.

In this photo given by Cambodia’s Fresh News, a structure is engulfed in flames at the international border crossing between Cambodia and Thailand in Poipet, west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Thursday, December 29, 2022. Current News from AP

Then, he continued, “we noticed several people jumping down.”

The structure was captured on camera engulfed in flames, with firefighters fighting to contain the blaze and rescuers attempting to extract individuals from a ledge that was on fire.

In one film, an unnamed man can be seen resting on a window sill while smoke billows behind him. In another scene, a group of individuals cower on a ledge as flames approach.

A source from the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that they have been collaborating closely with local authorities, including dispatching fire vehicles from the Thai side.

Later, Thai authorities in the adjacent province of Sa Kaeo reported that more than 50 patients were hospitalized there, with local public health official Prapas Pookduang told AFP that 13 individuals were “on life support.”

The governor of Sa Kaeo, Parinya Phothisat, stated that approximately sixty additional victims of the fire had already been examined and cleared by Thai hospitals.

In this photo released by Cambodia’s Fresh News, smoke rises as a fire consumes a Cambodian hotel casino in Poipet, west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Thursday, December 29, 2022. Recent News/Images from AP

According to him, Thai hospitals treated 79 Thais, 30 Cambodians, and eight Indonesians.

According to the Ruamkatanyu Foundation volunteer, the fire began on the first level but swiftly spread across the multi-story building via carpets.

Naphat Klonkliang, a foundation officer, told AFP that they had recovered two remains.

“The rescue crew first struggled, and the primary cause was the smoke,” the officer explained.

According to Sokhom, who told the Associated Press that firemen were able to extinguish the blaze at 2:00 p.m., it was feared that other victims were still buried under debris or in closed apartments that rescue crews could not immediately access, therefore the death toll was expected to grow. time zone on Thursday He allegedly said that rescue activities continued after the fire was extinguished, stating that a preliminary assessment indicates that the fire may have been caused by an excess of New Year’s decorations taking more electricity and causing the wires to overheat and catch fire.

At 4:00 a.m., the Department of Fire Prevention, Extinguishing, and Rescue reported hearing calls for assistance from the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth stories. In addition to hands waving from windows, a mobile phone’s flashlight was spotted within the complex.

In this photo released by Cambodia’s Fresh News, fire victims receive water from police officers in Poipet, west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Thursday, December 29, 2022. Current News from AP

“It was tough for our water cannons to reach the fire because it was inside the casino,” remarked a firefighter in a video broadcast by the fire department. He stated that this was the reason why the fire continued to burn for so long.

Hotel-casino hotspot

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, and its inhabitants are prohibited from gambling in its casinos.

However, there are multiple hotel-casinos located along the Thai border, and Poipet is a favorite tourist destination for Thais, where gambling is likewise outlawed.

In Thailand and Vietnam, there have been two other tragic fires at entertainment establishments this year.

In August, a fire broke out in a Thai nightclub, resulting in 26 deaths and dozens of injuries.

A fire in a karaoke bar in southern Vietnam killed 32 people the next month.

Long-standing concerns have been expressed regarding the region’s lackadaisical attitude to health and safety rules, especially in its numerous pubs, nightclubs, and other entertainment establishments.

In 2009, an enormous fire broke out at a New Year’s Eve party at Bangkok’s upscale Santika club, killing 67 people and injuring over 200.

The proprietor of Santika was sentenced to three years in prison for the fire, which was caused by the use of explosives as a rock band performed on stage.

This report was supplied by the Associated Press


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