21 Thai citizens reported dead in fire casino in Cambodia

Photo via สำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์ จังหวัดสระแก้ว

The death toll has risen on the fire incident this morning at the Grand Diamonds City and Casino in Poipet city in Cambodia. Thai officials confirmed that 21 Thai citizens were killed and another 53 were injured in the fire. The Cambodian authorities have not yet confirmed a full report on the deaths and injuries.

Officials from the Burapa Internal Security Operations Command and relevant departments arrived in Cambodia at 2pm today to monitor the fire situation and provide help to the Thai people.

Three buildings of the Grand Diamond City and Casino were destroyed, including a 17-floor VIP casino and hotel building, a casino building with eight floors, and a seven-floor hotel. The eight-storey building is under close supervision because it was completely destroyed and it is likely to fall soon.

The Thai and Cambodian authorities confirmed to Thairath that 21 Thai people were killed in the incident while 53 others were injured. The dead bodies of eight Thai women have already been transported to Thailand via the Thai-Cambodian border province of Trat. The victims’ families will be contacted to prove their identities and pick up the bodies.

One Thai man informed Thairath that he visited the casino and was staying on the 14th floor of the VIP building. He was on the ground floor when the fire broke out. He saw an electric spark in an LED spotlight behind the bar selling alcohol.

A security guard used a fire extinguisher to try and put it out but it did not work. The flame then rose to the ceiling and spread throughout the casino hall.

He immediately fled the scene and did not see what had happened next. The man added that there were over 100 Thai people inside the casino.

ORIGINAL STORY: At least 10 dead & 30 injured in fierce casino fire in Cambodia

At least 10 people died in a fierce fire incident in the early hours of this morning at the Grand Diamonds City and Casino in Poipet city in Cambodia, on the border with Thailand.

According to a report on Channel 3, the blaze started on the 7th and 8th floors of a 17-storey building in the Grand Diamonds City at about 12.25am. Black smoke was spotted billowing from windows on the two floors before more flames sparked and the fire engulfed the whole floor within minutes.

Firefighters gradually evacuated people from the building but many gamblers were still trapped inside, along with Thai and Cambodian workers.

The fire later spread to the lower floors where many victims were waiting to be evacuated. Some fearful victims jumped off the building to escape the fire.

Firefighters were heard yelling out to them in Thai and Cambodian to stop jumping.

One local firefighter bravely fought a lone battle for two hours to control the blaze. His fight wasn’t helped by the building’s fabrics which provided fuel for the fire and there was not enough water pressure to put out the fire.

At about 4am, the fire spread to other buildings nearby. More firefighters joined the fight against the flames, using an ultra-high-pressure engine to support the mission. Thailand also sent a team and firefighting vehicles to the scene.

At 9am the local media reported that the firefighters had about 70% of the blaze under control.

The report also confirmed that at least 10 victims died at the scene and they were mostly Thai nationals. Some 30 others suffered from injuries after jumping from the building while others had to deal with smoke inhalation.

Some of the injured victims were sent to Thai hospitals in the Arayaprathet district in the Isaan province of Sa Kaeo.

One Twitter user, @aodbu, reported at about 9.30am that things had improved. The local and Thai rescue teams managed to get all of the injured victims out of the building. The user added that there was a strong wind causing a struggle for the firefighters.

A gas tank explosion is believed to be the reason behind the blaze but a further investigation will be conducted after the fire is completely under control.


World News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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