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January 1, Dozens of Tourists Missing After Deadly Casino Fire



Officials fear that dozens of tourists are dead after a massive fire devastated a casino complex in Cambodia, with reports of people jumping out of windows to escape the blaze.

The fire at the Grand Diamond City Hotel and Casino in Poipet, a city that borders Thailand, began in a restaurant on a lower floor at about midnight on Thursday. Heavy winds caused the flames to quickly climb up the 15-story building.

It took firefighters about 14 hours to contain the flames, by which point the building was wrecked.

Local officials have confirmed that at least 16 people have died, with 50 others injured, and at least 58 unaccounted for. It was unclear how many additional guests might have been trapped in their rooms. At least 25 people were transported to Thailand for medical treatment.

“Right now, we are trying to bring the dead bodies from the building down,” Montri Khaosa-ard, who works for a Thai disaster rescue organization, told CNN. “I don’t think there will be any survivors because of very thick smoke.”

Many of the people who were trapped by the flames reportedly climbed up to the roof in the hopes that they might be rescued by crane. Rescue workers said some had jumped, resulting in injuries and deaths.

“Two people died immediately when they hit the ground and around four to five (others) broke their legs,” Peerapan Srisakorn, from the Aranyaprathet Rescue Foundation, told CNN.

“It was very windy last night,” he added. “The fire spread up quickly to the upper floors and then to every side, engulfing the whole building.”

Source: CNN

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