TARLAKENYO (Dec. 29, 2022) — Thai rescuers said that victims leaped to their deaths from burning structures in a desperate attempt to flee a catastrophic fire that devoured a casino in Cambodia on Wednesday.
The Grand Diamond City Hotel and Casino fire in Poipet, which borders Thailand, is believed to have killed at least 11 people, but the actual death toll is likely to be far higher.
According to Patcharin Thaenthong, the head of a Thai rescue squad that reacted to emergency calls from Cambodian authorities, some of the casualties looked to have passed away from smoke inhalation. He claimed, “The fire had already consumed (most of) the structures when we arrived, so we could not go in.”
According to the officials, some 700 Thai residents were saved and sent to Thai hospitals.
People were seen jumping off burning buildings, according to Peerapan Srisakorn of the Aranyaprathet Rescue Foundation.
According to him, four to five additional people had leg fractures, and two others died instantly when they hit the ground.
Peerapan claimed to have seen at least nine other bodies in the buildings.
He believes the restaurant on the ground floor may have been the fire’s origin before it spread to other areas of the complex. According to him, “several people raced to the rooftop, (thinking) that the Cambodians could have a rescue crane to help, but they didn’t have one.”
He said the weather might have aided the fire’s ability to spread.
He said, “Last night was windy.” The fire rapidly consumed the entire structure, swiftly moving to the top stories and all sides.
He claimed to have seen a building lose power and its lights turn off.
The extent of the fire’s suppression is yet unknown.
The rescue team’s commander, Patcharin, said that flames were no longer visible while there was still a lot of smoke.
Maj. Gen. Sithi Loh, the provincial police chief of Banteay Meanchey, reported the deployment of 300 police personnel, 11 fire engines, and several helicopters.
The source of the fire is still unknown, and the hotel’s high, constrained architecture had made it challenging to gauge the extent of the fire accurately, he added.
Poipet is well-known for its numerous casinos and serves as a transportation center between Bangkok, Thailand, and Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Although almost all kinds of gambling are prohibited in Thailand, many Thais nevertheless cross the border to participate in legal gambling, making it a prevalent vice in the nation.