Two men saved from collapsed Cambodia building


Safe at last: Rescue workers carrying the survivor out of the rubble from the collapsed building. — AFP

Sihanoukville (Cambodia): Two men were pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed Cambodian building, according to an AFP reporter at the scene, more than two days after the construction site accident that left at least 28 dead.

Workers clawed back the rubble overnight as a grim-faced Cambo­dian premier Hun Sen visited the scene of the collapse in Sihanoukville, a beach town undergoing a Chinese investment bonanza.The night was punctuated by grim processions of bodies on stretchers being carried to waiting ambulances.

Hopes that more survivors may be found under the debris had been fading, and the prime minister ordered inspections of all construction sites at the beach town which is undergoing a Chinese-bankrolled development boom.

But against the odds two people were cut free from the tangled wreckage alive yesterday, carried out by rescuers who had all but given up hope of finding anyone alive.Many were still feared still entombed in a mountain of twisted steel and rubble after the building came down early on Saturday in the coastal town of Sihanoukville.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the seven-storey steel and concrete structure to crumple without warning before dawn, trapping construction workers who were sleeping on the site.

Hun Sen sacked a top disaster management official yesterday, saying he had failed to take responsibility for the incident. Three Chinese nationals and a Cambodian landowner have been held for questioning over the building collapse.

Residents near the disaster scene said they had long feared tragedy was imminent.

The once quiet fishing village has seen a Chinese construction boom driven by tourists to its dozens of casinos in recent years, with questions raised about the speed of development in a nation notorious for lax safety standards. — AFP

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