Seven-storey building collapses in Cambodia

Aftermath of collapsed building in Sihanoukville.Image copyright

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Workers are missing after the under-construction building collapsed in Sihanoukville

A seven-storey building has collapsed in Cambodia, killing three people with others reported missing.

The under-construction building in the coastal city of Sihanoukville was owned by a Chinese company.

“We have pulled out a body and we see two more bodies still stuck between debris,” provincial governor Yun Min told the AFP news agency.

In recent years, Sihanoukville has been transformed by the construction of Chinese hotels and casinos.

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A rescue team carries a wounded worker from the building

The three confirmed dead were all Cambodian – two workers and a translator.

Reports vary on the number of people missing as rescue efforts continue.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said that “more than 30” were unaccounted for, while the labour ministry said it could be fewer than 10.

The provincial governor said 20 had been rescued and that about 50 workers would usually be on site at that time.

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A reason for the collapse has not yet been given, but the city police chief said a Chinese woman was being “detained for questioning”.

The once-small fishing village saw a boom in tourism in the 2000s, mostly Western backpackers and holidaymakers.

The last three years has seen the area change beyond recognition, with the construction of dozens of casinos catering almost solely to Chinese tourists.

Cambodia has notoriously lax labour laws, putting construction workers at risk.

The International Labour Organization has highlighted the “exposure of workers to constant safety and health hazards” on building sites.