PM Sends Condolences to Poi Pet Fire Victims

A rescue team walks through a burned out part of the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino following a major fire at the complex, in Poipet in Banteay Meanchey province on December 30, 2022. Photo by Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP

PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Sen has expressed his condolences to the victims of the fire at the Grand Diamond City Hotel in Poi Pet as the confirmed death toll rose to 19.

It was a sorrowful event which could ever happen at the end of the year, he said on Dec. 30.

The Cambodian-Thai search and rescue team has found 19 dead, most of whom were Thai. Another 73 were injured with many of them being critical.

The Prime Minister also thanked Thai police at this difficult time for joining forces to put the blaze out. On the same occasion, he called on authorities to restore order at the Poi Pet gate border. 

The fire broke out in the hotel and casino building at about midnight on Dec 29 and was raging until mid-morning on the same day.

About 1,500 people, of whom 1,000 were guests, were reported to have been in the hotel when it broke out.

News reports said people were trapped in the building and others jumped to their deaths as they tried to escape.

One report said people could not leave their rooms after the fire disabled the electronic door locks.

The cause of the fire so far remains unclear.

The Bangkok Post said the hotel is owned by a fugitive former Thai cabinet minister, Vatana Asavahame, 86, who was convicted in absentia over a wastewater treatment scandal.

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