At least six children are among 36 people who have died after a building under construction collapsed in Cambodia – as a survivor was pulled out overnight.
Officials said at least a dozen bodies were discovered in overnight operations after the seven-storey tourist guesthouse collapsed on Friday in the coastal province of Kep, 100 miles (160km) southwest of the capital Phnom Penh.
Hours after a young woman was pulled from the rubble alive early on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the end of the rescue operation which involved hundreds of workers and soldiers.
Image: A young woman was found alive under the rubble overnight on Saturday
Image: Hundreds of rescuers worked for three days to get 23 survivors out
Twenty-three people were found alive while at least 14 women and six children were among the dead, Kep provincial authorities said.
Pictures also showed a puppy being pulled out from the rubble alive.
Female construction workers are common in Cambodia and neighbouring Thailand, while families of workers often live at construction sites.
Mr Hun Sen said a Cambodian couple who own the building and who hired the construction workers have been detained and sent to court to face unspecified charges.
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He defended the government’s response and said no local officials would be fired.
“Building collapses don’t only happen in Cambodia, they happen elsewhere, including in the United States,” the prime minister said.
Provincial police earlier said the collapse happened when concrete was being poured on the building’s top floor.
Image: A survivor is carried out of the building site to hospital
Image: One of the 36 bodies found under the collapsed building was taken away on Sunday
Kep provincial authorities said a committee had been formed to investigate the cause.
Mr Hun Sen posted a video on his Facebook page of the woman being rescued by the Rapid Rescue Company 711, an elite Cambodian military unit which specialises in emergency rescues.
The prime minister, who is the longest-serving in the world, travelled to the collapse site on Friday “to lead the rescue team”, he said on his Facebook.
He also visited a local hospital where the injured were being treated.
It is among a string of tragic construction accidents that highlight concerns in a country balancing rapid development to support a booming Chinese tourism industry against poor safety records.
Image: Rescuers wash a puppy they found alive under the rubble
Last June, 28 people died and 26 were injured after a seven-storey building, owned by a Chinese construction company, collapsed in the coastal area of Sihanouhkville.
Seven people were charged with involuntary manslaughter and Mr Hun Sen sacked a disaster management official over the accident.
In December, a Buddhist temple collapsed while under construction in Siem Reap, where the famous Angkor Wat lies, killing at least three people and injuring 13, including two monks.
Source : Sky News