About 400 staff and patrons had been within the Grand Diamond Metropolis on line casino and resort within the city of Poipet when the hearth broke out round midnight, and as much as 30 had been nonetheless lacking.
“The variety of deaths might attain greater than 20,” mentioned Sek Sokhom, head of the Banteay Meanchey provincial data division.
Sixty individuals had been injured, he mentioned.
Video footage confirmed the hearth beneath management by Thursday afternoon and a crew in a fireplace escape stairwell of the constructing placing on respirator masks and fire-resistant hoods earlier than coming into a smoke-filled hall.
Khieu Sopheak, an inside ministry spokesperson, had earlier mentioned it was not clear how many individuals had been nonetheless contained in the charred constructing.
“We do not know what number of are trapped inside and now we’re solely making an attempt to save lots of lives,” he mentioned, including that the reason for the hearth was nonetheless unclear.
A key a part of Cambodia’s tourism business, essential for its financial system, casinos within the capital of Phnom Penh and on the borders with Vietnam and Thailand are a draw for guests from Asian nations that ban playing.
Casinos in Poipet are vastly well-liked with short-term Thai guests particularly as playing is against the law and unlicensed casinos function underground within the neighbouring nation.
At the least 25 individuals had been being handled in hospitals in Sa Kaeo province throughout the border, Thai authorities mentioned.
Provincial authorities mentioned one Thai nationwide had died in hospital and 70% of these affected confirmed signs of smoke inhalation.
Cambodian police mentioned a whole lot of personnel from army, police and rescue groups had joined the rescue effort.
Nighttime video footage confirmed flames engulfing elements of the constructing amid thick billows of smoke.
It additionally confirmed individuals crowded along with firefighters at a rooftop bar in daylight, shielding their mouths from smoke pouring out of the doorways and home windows of decrease flooring.