At least 19 people were killed in a massive fire that engulfed a hotel in northwest Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province, officials said.
“In a preliminary report, 19 people were pronounced dead in the blaze, and some more victims are probably still missing in the charred building, as search operation is still going on,” Sek Sokhom, Director of the Banteay Meanchey provincial information department, told Xinhua late on Thursday evening.
According to a provincial police report, besides the dead, 23 got seriously injured and 50 others sustained minor injuries in the incident, Xinhua news agency reported.
The report said more than 360 emergency personnel, led by Banteay Meanchey Provincial Police Chief Major General Sithi Loh, joined the rescue operation, using 11 firetrucks to fight the fire.
Neighbouring Thailand had also sent their firefighters and firetrucks to help put out the blaze, it added.
“So far, the Cambodian and Thai rescuers are still searching for the remaining victims,” the report said.
The blaze broke out at around Wednesday midnight at the Grand Diamond City hotel in Poipet, a city that borders Thailand, the Fire Prevention and Rescue Police Department said, adding that the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
A footage posted on the Facebook page of the Fire Prevention and Rescue Police Department showed some people jumping down to escape the fire as some others were trapped on higher floors.
Soth Kimkolmony, Spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, told Xinhua that the identities of the victims are not available yet.