Tragic Cambodia Casino Fire: Multiple Fatalities Reported

Late Wednesday night, a tragic fire occurred at the Grand Diamond City venue in Poipet, near the Thai border. Reports suggest that there were hundreds of people inside at the time. The death toll has reached around 25, with bodies found in stairways. Shocking photos and videos show individuals desperately attempting to escape the flames by huddling on windowsills and even jumping from the roof. Cambodian authorities fear that there may still be more bodies trapped inside the gutted complex.

The search and rescue operation involves hundreds of Cambodian soldiers, police officers, and volunteers from Thailand. As of Friday, smoke still occasionally rose from the site, indicating that the area is still unsafe to enter. Thai rescue group, the Poh Teck Tung Foundation, stated that they are evaluating the presence of smoke or fire inside the building before proceeding.

Numerous individuals who were injured in the incident have been transported to hospitals in Thailand for treatment. The casino is one of many in Poipet, a popular border town for Thais seeking gambling options due to restrictions in their own country. Thailand’s foreign ministry is working closely with Cambodian authorities to locate and identify Thais affected by the incident. In response, they are sending additional equipment, consular officers, and a police attache to Poipet.

While gambling is illegal for both Cambodians and Thais, numerous casinos have thrived along the borders of Thailand and Vietnam. These areas have seen a surge in casino-filled hotspots. A worker from Grand Diamond City, who requested anonymity, shared her experience of the fire, stating that it started small but rapidly grew, forcing her and a colleague to flee for their lives.

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Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, referring to the incident as a “tragedy.” Rescue efforts faced challenges due to the dangerous conditions. Thai rescuers had to pause their operations as night fell. Approximately 100 rescuers scoured the complex throughout the day, encountering difficulties in reaching certain areas.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but it is not the first incident of its kind in the region. In recent months, fires have struck popular entertainment establishments in Southeast Asia, resulting in numerous casualties. These incidents have raised concerns about lax safety regulations in the region’s bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues.

Grand Diamond City

cambodia casino fire

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