Cambodia hotel collapse search ends, 36 dead | News | DW | 05.01.2020
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Cambodia hotel collapse search ends, 36 dead

The rescue effort lasted almost two days, mobilizing hundreds of workers to pull people from the rubble. Experts say low safety standards in Cambodia raise the risk of accidents at construction sites.

Cambodian authorities on Sunday called off the search for victims in the rubble of a seven-story hotel under construction, which crumbled to the ground in the southern Kep province on Friday afternoon.

The final death toll was estimated at 36, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that 23 people had been pulled from the rubble alive.

"This is yet another tragedy," said Hun Sen, who promised that families of the victims would get $50,000 (€45,000) each in compensation, while those injured would receive $20,000 (€18,000).

The Cambodian leader told reporters that the contractor had died in the building collapse, while the owners of the building had been detained.

The government has formed a committee to carry out an investigation, according to provincial authorities.

Read more: Open sewage canals put Phnom Penh's poorest at risk

Poor safety standards

Rapid urbanization has triggered a construction boom in the Southeast Asian country, with hotels, high-rise buildings and casinos springing up without proper regulation.

Last June, at least 28 people died when a building still under construction collapsed in Sihanoukville, a beach town flush with Chinese investment.

Labor rights organizations point to low safety standards for recurring accidents at construction sites.

Read more: Cambodia building collapse: Minister sacked, governor quits

Watch video 05:06

Cambodia: Asia's new gold

shs/stb  (AFP, AP)

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