Death toll jumps in Cambodia building collapse

At least 36 people were killed and 23 injured after a guesthouse under construction in Cambodia collapsed, trapping workers and their families beneath the rubble, officials said on Sunday.

The seven-storey concrete building collapsed on Friday in the coastal town of Kep, about 160 kilometres (100 miles) southwest of the capital Phnom Penh, the latest collapse to hit the country’s booming construction industry.

Sou Chhlonh, vice president of Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC), who is in Kep, told Al Jazeera that a combination of lax enforcement of the law, corruption, and workers living on site instead of in separate accommodation contributed to the high number of deaths.

According to the BTWUC’s survey of the site, 59 people were living there including children.

“Six to seven children who stayed in the building died,” Chhlonh said. “A pregnant woman died, and a baby of maybe between three and seven months died with the mother.”

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