PHNOM PENH (AFP, REUTERS) - At least 10 people were killed and 23 injured after a building in Cambodia collapsed, trapping workers under rubble, officials said on Saturday (Jan 4).
The seven-storey concrete building collapsed on Friday in the coastal town of Kep, about 160 km southwest of the capital Phnom Penh.
It came a year after another construction site collapsed, killing 28 people in Preah Sihanouk province.
“There are five dead that we have already pulled out and there are other five people dead that we saw and we haven’t been able to pull out from the collapsed building yet,” Kep governor Ken Satha told Reuters.
An unknown number of workers remained trapped, Satha said, adding that authorities had detained a Cambodian couple, the owners of the building, for questioning.
The couple had intended to build a guesthouse, Satha said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Saturday that rescuers were still struggling to reach those missing in the rubble. “As of the 4th this morning, emergency crews are still working on the removal of the concrete slab, cutting through iron fittings to continue to find more people,” Hun Sen said on his Facebook page on Saturday.
Cambodia is undergoing a construction boom to serve growing crowds of Chinese tourists and investors.
Deadly accidents plague the kingdom's poorly regulated building sector even as the country has enjoyed a construction boom.
In June, nearly 30 people died after the collapse of a building under construction in Sihanoukville, a beach town undergoing a Chinese investment bonanza.
Last month, at least three workers died and more than a dozen others were seriously injured after an under-construction dining hall at a temple collapsed in the tourist town of Siem Reap.
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.