Eighteen dead, 24 injured in Cambodia building collapse

Sunday, 2019-06-23 16:17:18
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Rescuers search for survivors at the scene where a building collapsed in Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia, June 22, 2019. (Source: Xinhua/The Cambodia China Times)
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Eighteen people were killed when an under-construction seven-storey building in Cambodia collapsed early on June 22, an official said, as rescuers struggled to reach missing workers feared trapped under a mountain of twisted steel and rubble.

The incident happened at about 4:00 a.m. local time in commune 4 in Sihanoukville, west of the capital Phnom Penh, the Preah Sihanouk Province's Administration said in the statement, adding that the building was constructed on the parcel of 15 meters by 30 meters and about 80 percent of it was completed.

At least 24 people were injured and some workers had been trapped inside the building soon after it collapsed, according to the office of the spokesman for the local province of Preah Sihanouk.

A statement issued on June 23 by Preah Sihanouk Province officials said 40% of the debris from the site had been cleared. It was not clear how many more people were missing.

Photos of the scene shared on social media showed groups of rescuers working their way through a crumpled heap of steel girders and concrete.

The construction industry is booming in the Southeast Asian nation, and safety standards on construction sites remain a problem.

Seng Loth, a spokesman for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, said the building was constructed without permission.

"It was an unlicensed project, and the provincial authorities had warned the developer twice, but they ignored the warnings," he told Xinhua.

Police have detained four people, including three construction supervisors, for questioning in relation to the accident, according to a statement from the province.

Reuters, Xinhua