Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities have updated the casualty numbers from the fire that broke out on December 28 at Grand Diamond City Casino and the Poipet Resort in Poipet town, reporting that the death toll has risen to 26 dead and 57 injured.
Search-and-rescue operations have now been completed and although it remains possible that additional bodies will be found authorities do not anticipate the casualty count will rise significantly from the current figure.
The Banteay Meanchey provincial police posted a report on social media on December 30 stating: “After conducting search-and-rescue operations for 39 hours, on December 30, the local authorities presented their formal report regarding the tragic fire at Grand Diamond City Casino and Poipet Resort in Poipet. 26 human remains were found (13 male, 13 female) and 57 more people sustained major injuries.”
The post announced that Deputy National Police chief Kheng Sameth ,Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Um Reatrey and officials from the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) who are rescue specialists joined in the operation.
The authorities deployed a total of 1,009 police, fire and other officials from 14 units along with 222 police officers from Thailand. 58 fire engines responded to the blaze and put out the fire. Of the four buildings involved, three were completely destroyed while the extent of the damage to the fourth structure is being investigated.
The report indicates that the fire broke out at 11:45pm on December 28 and is thought to be the result of an electrical fault in the lower levels of one of the buildings. It was earlier reported that the fire was caused by an electrical fault in one building at the Grand Diamond City Casino and then spread to the other buildings including the Poipet Resort next door.