Victims of the Cambodia building collapse on Saturday the 24th were buried alive as they slept. The death toll at the Chinese-owned site rose to 18 with increasingly desperate rescuers picked through the compacted rubble for any further signs of life. It is predicted that many more are trapped under the collapsed seven-story building in the beach resort of Sihanoukville.
“At around 4am there was a loud ‘bang’… my floor trembled, suddenly the building went down. I was crushed by debris from my waist down,” a rescued resident said
The former fishing village of Sihanoukville has seen a Chinese construction boom buoyed by tourists to its dozens of casinos in recent years, with questions raised on the speed of development in a nation notorious for lax safety standards.
At least 1,000 rescue workers, soldiers, police, medics and Chinese construction experts have been deployed to the site.
One person was pulled alive from the rubble late Saturday – the last survivor to be extracted as of Sunday afternoon.
“We fear more bodies are trapped in the debris because the search has not reached the bottom of the building yet,” the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.
It is not clear how many people were at the site at the time of the collapse.
The owner of the building, the head of the construction firm and the contractor – all Chinese nationals – have been detained by Cambodian police.