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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Nine remain missing after casino blaze

A general view of the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino where a fire broke out, in Poipet near Thailand border, Cambodia, December 30, 2022. (Reuters photo)

Nine Thai nationals caught in the Cambodian hotel-casino blaze are still missing, Sa Kaeo authorities said on Monday.

The bodies of 19 Thai nationals who were killed by the blaze at the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino complex last week have been brought back to Thailand, said Thawatchai Boonsang, Aranyaprathet district's senior deputy district chief and acting director of the Thai victims' rescue operations centre.

Meanwhile, the bodies of 14 other Thai victims are still in Cambodia. Of them, five were at Wat Trat in Poipet, six at the Poipet Hospital, and three at the Sisophon Hospital in Banteay Meanchey province.

Mr Thawatchai said that 28 injured victims remained in hospitals in Thailand as of Monday.

According to Mr Thawatchai, of the 50 originally thought to be missing Thai nationals, 41 have been found and returned home, while nine are still unaccounted for.

Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the deputy national police chief, said that the Cambodian authorities called off the search mission on Friday afternoon as no new bodies were found at the disaster site.

The report said that the bodies, the majority of whom were elderly, were discovered mostly in bedrooms, Pol Gen Surachate added.

Meanwhile, Suthipol Thaweechaikarn, secretary-general of the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC), said that a regional OIC office will help victims and their families follow up on compensation payments with the insurance companies.

According to Mr Suthipol, two of the Thai nationals found dead had life insurance policies with 200,000 baht in premiums and 10,000 baht in medical expenses.

Ten injured victims had policies with three companies, totalling 1,330,000 baht in accident compensation, 1,000,000 baht in life insurance, and 2,000 baht in daily compensation.

Arunee Changsuwan, director of the Sa Kaeo regional OIC office, added that the office did not have any reports regarding the government's compensation payment for victims but an answer regarding the death compensation written in their insurance.

"The expense of an older type of policy normally will not cover any death outside the kingdom, while the new ones do," said Miss Arunee.

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