3 Cambodians die in building collapse at pagoda: Police

Asia
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PHNOM PENH: Three workers died and more than a dozen others were seriously injured after an under-construction dining hall at a Cambodian temple collapsed, police said on Monday (Dec 2), in the latest fatal accident to strike the kingdom’s poorly regulated building sector.

The structure fell in on itself as workers laid concrete on the first floor of the building inside a pagoda compound in Siem Reap province, police said.

Local media showed an excavator trying to clear the site as rescuers carried away metal debris.

“Three workers died,” said a statement issued by Siem Reap provincial hall Monday.

Cambodia pagoda building collapse (1)
Cambodian rescue team carry a body recovered from the collapse construction site in a Buddhist temple in Siem Reap on Dec 2, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Rohany ISA)

More than a dozen others, including two monks, “were pulled out from the debris alive”, the statement said, adding that there were doubts anyone else was trapped under the debris but that the search would continue.

Local media reported more than 20 workers were working at the site when the structure went down.

Cambodia pagoda building collapse
Cambodian rescuers search for victims from the collapse construction site in a Buddhist temple in Siem Reap on Dec 2, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Rohany ISA)

Nearly 30 people died in June after the collapse of a building under construction in Sihanoukville, a beach town undergoing a Chinese investment bonanza.

Cambodia has enjoyed a construction boom but there is little oversight of the sector.

There are an estimated 200,000 construction workers in Cambodia, most unskilled, reliant on day wages and not protected by union rules, according to the International Labour Organization.

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