Cambodia hotel fire kills 10 people as others seen ‘jumping from windows’ to escape

Emergency services have said at least 10 people have been killed in the fire on the border of Cambodia and Thailand (Picture: AFP/Getty)

At least 10 people have been killed in a huge fire at a Cambodian hotel-casino on the border with Thailand

It is reported at least 30 more people have been injured as firefighters tackled the huge blaze into the night.

The blaze broke out at the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino in the border town of Poipet at about 23:30 (16:30 GMT) on Wednesday.

Around 400 people were in the building when it caught fire, police say.

Shocking footage from the scene showed people plunging to the ground below as they jumped to escape the fire from the fifth floor.

Many Thai nationals were in the hotel, which backs onto the border, local media reports.

Authorities are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

Firefighters work to rescue people trying to escape from a fire at the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino in Poipet on December 29, 2022. - As many as 10 people have died in a fire in a Cambodian hotel-casino on the border of Thailand, police said December 29. (Photo by AFP) / NO ARCHIVES (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Firefighters worked to save the people trapped inside the hotel (Picture: Getty/ AFP)

A major fire burns through the Grand Diamond City hotel-casino in Poipet on December 29, 2022. - As many as 10 people have died in a fire at a Cambodian hotel-casino on the border of Thailand, with photos showing groups desperately huddled on ledges as fierce flames surround them. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The Grand Diamond City hotel-casino in Poipet where 10 people were killed (Picture: AFP)

A partial collapse of the building was reported in addition to extensive damage, while firefighters later claimed to have around 70% of the fire under control.

Some other parts of the structure were also seen to be ‘leaning’ perilously several hours into the fire, which is thought to have started around midnight (5pm GMT).

A total of 53 people were stated to have been rescued at 8.30am local time (1.30am GMT) as the fire continued.

A rescue crew was brought in across the border from Thailand to help tackle the blaze, with group leader Patcharin Thaenthon revealing that its ferocity prevented them from entering the site

He told CNN: ‘When we arrived, we could not get in because the fire had already taken over the buildings’.

Mr Thaenthon added many of the victims appeared to have died from smoke inhalation.

Civilian volunteers also joined fire crews in the response and rescue effort, with the speed of the original emergency response not yet clear.

Unconfirmed reports on social media said the fire had been burning ‘uncontrolled’ at the hotel and casino complex for around six hours, with one video clip showing a large part of the roof still ablaze.

Several parts of the hotel appeared charred and completely hollowed out.

Staff at the casino section of the resort meanwhile escaped by walking on the ledges of the building in single file, while a crowd of people gathered outside helped them climb down.

Some of the injured were transferred to hospitals in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province, a Thai foreign ministry official told the AFP news agency.

Poipet is a key crossing point between the two countries. It is also popular for its casinos, which many Thai nationals visit because gambling is mostly illegal in Thailand.

A statement from Poipet mayor Keat Hol said: ‘The fire continues to burn quickly and the extent of the damage has not yet been estimated.’

Oum Rath, governor of Banteay Meanchey province, confirmed to local media that he was leading the firefighting operation and that efforts continued to bring the fire under control.

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