Seven people are dead and 18 injured following the collapse of an under-construction building in Kep city on Friday, with the building’s owner arrested and being questioned at the provincial police headquarters on Saturday.
According to a report from the rescue team, seven bodies were pulled from the rubble, while 18 others were sent to hospital.
Ses Nhorn, deputy provincial police chief, said rescuers would continue to work to find survivors as those who have already been rescued have suggested that 30 to 40 workers were in the building when it collapsed.
“Most of them were on the ground floor because they were gathering there after having finished their work,” Nhorn said.
Nhorn added that officers had arrested the building’s owner.
Kep provincial council chief Sam Sarin said on Friday that the collapsed seven-story building had only been permitted to build five stories.
“The owner of this building asked for a construction license for only five stories but they kept building until seven stories,” he said.
The owner was a Cambodian national living in Preah Sihanouk province, but he did not know the name, Sarin said.
He added that Kun Kim, first vice chair of the National Committee for Disaster Management, arrived at the scene around 7 p.m. Authorities from Kep and neighboring Kampot province are cooperating in the rescue effort, he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen posted on his Facebook page that he would be traveling to the scene.
Last year, a seven-story building in Preah Sihanouk province collapsed, burying workers who were living on-site, killing 28 and injuring 26.