Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Seventeen dead, 24 injured in Sihanoukville building collapse

Seventeen dead, 24 injured in Sihanoukville building collapse

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Seventeen dead, 24 injured in Sihanoukville building collapse

As of just after 8 am on Sunday, rescue team recovered 17 corpses and at least 24 injured who were buried underneath the rubble of a building under construction which collapsed in Preah Sihanouk province.

In an immediate response to the tragedy, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a donation of 40 million riel to each of the dead victims' families.

Speaking to The Post early on Sunday, Preah Sihanoukville provincial governor Yun Min said: “Up to 8:30am, we have recorded a death toll of 17 persons.

"Another 24 have suffered light to serious injuries and are receiving treatment.”

The seven-storey building which is under construction collapsed at about 4 am on June 22.

Since then, rescue teams have been working round-the-clock in search and recovery operations as they worked against time to save as many of the victim as possible.

Families of the victims were also offered sympathies and all help to fill out forms to release the deceased for the traditional funeral.

Hun Sen took to his Facebook page from the Asean summit in Thailand.

He said: “Lovely compatriots, the Preah Sihanouk tragedy is a national suffering, especially for the bereaved families who have lost their wives, husbands, children or parents, etc”.

“To share the condolence and support the families, as the government, I have decided to release some funds from the national budget for the bereaved families.

"Each family will receive 40 million riel or $10,000,” he said, adding that the injured victims will receive free treatment at state-run hospitals. A five million riel donation has been set aside for each injured victim to cover medical treatment.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Between 30 to 50 per cent of the site has been cleared by early Sunday morning.

"Tonight, I continue to monitor the search and rescue operations with brothers and sisters,” Hun Sen wrote.

Bin Chhin, the Permanent Deputy Prime Minister and a member of the Council of Ministers, has been appointed to ensure that victims receive the donations.

Cheap Sotheary, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said from the scene that hundreds of rescue team had been removing the rubble to find any remaining victims.

Site clearing works using machinery has covered only between 30 and 50 per cent because of the size of the rubble, some of which are extremely huge and heavy.

“At least four to five heavy machines are working throughout the day and night as part of our efforts to clear the rubble and recover any victims.

"The slow pace of the recovery work is because we do not want to cause further injury to any victim that may still be buried under rubble, ” she said.

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