Search and rescue teams in Cambodia removed rubble Saturday for a second day to find any more survivors from a building collapse that killed at least five people and injured about 20.
Prime Minister Hun Sen went to the coastal province of Kep on Friday “to lead the rescue team,” he announced on his Facebook page. He also visited the provincial hospital where the injured were being treated.
He announced Saturday morning the casualty toll of seven dead and 18 injured, but other tallies were slightly different, and it was not clear why they varied. Kep provincial authorities later announced a total of five dead and 18 injured. Several of the hospitalized survivors were reported to be in critical condition.
Nguon Samet, deputy police chief of Kep province, on Friday said the seven-story building apparently collapsed when concrete was being poured on its top level.
He said that it was believed some people were still trapped under rubble, but he could not say how many. Relatives of some of those still missing gathered outside the site to pray, Nguon Samet said.
The collapse of a building under construction last June in Sihanoukville, another coastal province, killed 28 construction workers and injured 26 others, underlining concerns about the area’s rapid development and inattention to safety. The coastal area has been rapidly built up to cater to a booming tourism industry.
In December, a Buddhist temple collapsed while under construction in Siem Reap, home of Cambodia’s famed Angkor temples, killing at least three people and injuring 13 others, including two monks.
According to police, that accident also occurred when workers were pouring cement on the top level of the building.
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