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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

At least one Thai confirmed dead in Poipet inferno

Thai officials inspect the fire-gutted Grand Diamond City Hotel & Casino in Poipet, Cambodia, on Thursday. Of 108 victims, 34 injured Thais were sent to Sa Kaeo and one of them was pronounced dead from injuries received in a fall from a high place. (Photo supplied)

Of the 108 known victims of the Poipet casino fire in Cambodia so far, 34 were sent for treatment in Sa Kaeo province of Thailand and one of them died, according to the public health minister.

Anutin Charnvirakul said the figures were reported at 12.30pm on Thursday. All 34 victims who were transported to Sa Kaeo were Thai. Subsequent reports said the number of people being treated in the province had risen to 50.

Seventeen of the 34 were red-coded and eight had to be referred to hospitals in other provinces, said the minister.

“Most of them suffered burns, smoke inhalation and broken bones. … The dead case fell from a high place,” Mr Anutin said. He expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragedy.

He ordered health officials to give their best service, including identification, to all victims, Thai and foreign.

Reports from Cambodia on Thursday evening said at least 19 people were killed by the blaze with scores more injured and abiout 30 people still missing.

The fire at the Grand Diamond City Hotel & Casino in Poipet town of Cambodia started about 11.30pm on Wednesday. The 17-storey complex had casinos on its first three floors and about 100 hotel rooms. Mr Anutin said there were many Thais working there.

The casino complex is owned by 86-year-old fugitive Thai politician Vatana Asavahame. He is a former cabinet minister and fled the country in 2008 before being convicted in connection with the Klong Dan wastewater treatment scandal, one of the biggest corruption cases in the country’s history.

Maj Gen Sarawoot Chaiyasit, commander of the Burapha Task Force, said the fire raged through the building for more than five hours. He was among Thai officials who went to the scene to help.

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