Interior Minister Sar Kheng said today that the seven-storey building collapse in Kep province was due to the poor quality of construction materials and lack of thorough inspections.
Speaking to reporters at the scene today, Mr Kheng, who leads the search and rescue operations team, said that poor quality construction material caused the collapse.
“The reason of the collapse is because of poor quality of the building,” he said. “Even now no specific persons are held responsible, but one thing we know is that building material is not up to standard.”
“Based on the law, they need to conduct inspections but maybe [officials] failed to conduct thorough inspections,” Mr Kheng said. “We need to find answers.”
So far, death toll rose to 9 and 18 injured workers are recuperating in the provincial hospital as rescue operation icontinues, according to sources.
Mr Kheng said that the rescue team is trying to retrieve one victim believed to be alive despite being trapped for 15 hours under the rubble.
“We believe one victim is still alive. Samdech Prime Minister ordered us to do our utmost to rescue that victim,” he said. “We heard the voice.”
Mr Kheng said that he was unsure how many workers remain trapped under the debris.
“We believe there were about 30 workers…now we are searching for them,” he added.