Three dead, dozens missing in Cambodia building collapse

Rescue mission: Workers using an excavator to clear debris at the scene in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. — AFP

Phnom Penh: At least three people died when an under-construction building collapsed at a Cambodian beach resort, officials said, with fears an un­known number of others may still be buried in the rubble.The seven-storey building in the beach town of Sihanoukville collapsed with workers inside yesterday.

“We have pulled out a body and we see two more bodies still stuck between debris,” said Yun Min, the governor of Preah Sihanouk province.

More than a dozen others were injured, officials said, with at least two in hospital in a serious condition.

Images showed excavators digging into the flattened debris in the hunt for other workers feared to be trapped inside.

The building belonged to a Chinese national who rented the land from a Cambodian owner.

Thul Phorsda, police chief of Sihanoukville city, confirmed the death toll and said a Chinese woman was being “detained for questioning” over the fatal accident, but declined to give further details.

With the rescue attempt stretching into the afternoon, authorities remained unable to say how many people were working at the time in a country where informal labour is common.

Yun Min said around 50 workers would normally have been on the site at the time.

“We have rescued 20 so far ... we still can’t say exactly how many are trapped in the debris,” he said, adding some may not have been at work at the time of the accident.

All of the dead were Cambodians, including two workers and a translator. — AFP

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