Two Cambodians die in building collapse at pagoda

  • ASEAN+
  • Monday, 02 Dec 2019

The temple building which collapsed in Siem Reap. - ANN

Phnom Penh (Dec 2, ANN): Two workers died and 10 others were seriously injured after an under-construction dining hall at a Cambodian temple collapsed, police said Monday (Dec 2), in the latest fatal accident to strike the kingdom's poorly regulated building sector.

The structure fell in on itself as workers laid concrete on the first floor of the building inside a pagoda compound in Siem Reap province, police said.

Local media showed an excavator trying to clear the site as rescuers carried away metal debris.

"So far we have pulled out some 10 people. They were all seriously injured," deputy provincial police chief Phing Sambath said.

"Two people died in hospital," he said, adding there were no details of how many workers might be trapped in the rubble.

Siem Reap city governor Nuon Putheara said that the building collapsed in Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Koukchak commune at about 2pm on Monday.

“Our joint forces are working hard to rescue the people trapped under the rubble, ” Putheara said.

Tith Dira, the Koukchak commune chief, who visited the scene, said that before concrete slabs and scaffoldings had collapsed, about 20 or 30 people were working at the site. He added that most of the workers are village security guards who volunteered to construct the building.

Local media reported more than 20 workers were working at the site when the structure went down.

Nearly 30 people died in June after the collapse of a building under construction in Sihanoukville, a beach town undergoing a Chinese investment bonanza.

Cambodia has enjoyed a construction boom but there is little oversight of the sector.

There are an estimated 200,000 construction workers in Cambodia, most unskilled, reliant on day wages and not protected by union rules, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). - Asia News Network

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