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Cambodia building collapse: Two pulled alive from rubble

A survivor is carried on stretches after being pulled out of the rubble in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Photo: 24 June 2019

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AFP/Getty Images

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A survivor is carried on stretches after being cut from the rubble on Monday

In Cambodia, two people have been pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed building – more than two days after Saturday’s disaster.

The two survivors were given water and taken to hospital in the coastal town of Sihanoukville.

The death toll earlier had risen to 25 at the Chinese-owned construction site. A similar number were reported injured.

The seven-storey building collapsed on Saturday morning before dawn, with many workers asleep inside.

The two people were rescued several hours after officials had said they did not believe any more survivors would be found alive.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visited the site earlier on Monday. He accepted the resignation of the governor of the south-eastern province.

There are varying estimates of the number of people still missing. Relatives at a local hospital said around a dozen people were still believed to be buried in the debris.

One bereaved woman, 47-year-old Khim Pov, cried and hugged her daughter as she told AFP: “I lost my husband and my nephew. I don’t have any hope my husband has survived. The bodies being pulled out have been flattened.”

A number of bodies were found overnight on Sunday as rescuers used diggers and drills to shift the rubble.

The building collapse is the worst of its kind in Cambodia in recent years and will raise further questions over the rate and sustainability of construction in Sihanoukville.

Previously a small fishing village, it has changed beyond recognition over the last three years with the construction of dozens of hotels, and casinos catering almost solely to Chinese tourists.

Media captionInjured are rescued from the rubble

Four people have been arrested over the collapse, including the Chinese building owner, the head of the construction firm and the contractor.

A Cambodian landowner has also been taken in for questioning.

The Chinese embassy in Cambodia has expressed its condolences, saying it is supporting a “thorough investigation” of the accident and the Chinese nationals arrested.

Cambodia has notoriously lax labour laws, putting construction workers at risk.

The International Labour Organization has highlighted the “exposure of workers to constant safety and health hazards” on building sites.

Cambodia building collapse: Two pulled alive from rubble

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