Building Collapse: PM Announces the End of Search and Rescue Operation

Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo has announced to end the search and rescue operation for the victims of a six-floor building collapse in Kep province, after over 43 hours of work.

The Premier made the announcement at a press conference on the outcomes of the search and rescue operation held at around this noon at the incident scene in Sangkat Kep of Kep city.

On the occasion, Samdech Techo Hun Sen made a clarification to some comments criticising that the operation took too much time. He laid stress on the operation's principles, explaining that the priorities are to save lives and to respect the corpses, therefore "we need to be careful when using heavy machinery."

According to the official figures, the death toll rose to 36 while the number of the injured was recorded at 23, he pointed out, underlining, "This is a tragedy for our country."

The Prime Minister expressed his pride of the active efforts of the search and rescue team and his gratitude to Their Majesties the King and the Queen-Mother for their attention and financial support for the victims. He also thanked competent authorities, private sector and other stakeholders as well as the charitable people for their contribution to the search and rescue operation.

Foreign diplomatic corps, including the Embassies of Australia, China, France and United States of America as well as the United Nations in Cambodia have extended their deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the bereaved families and wished the injured fast recovery.

An under-construction building collapsed on Jan. 3 afternoon, at around 4:30. The search and rescue operation began immediately after the collapse under the direction of Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press