Cambodia: Deadly Hotel-Casino Fire Near Thai Border

Photo: Reuters

The Facts

  • At least 19 people were killed when a massive fire broke out Wednesday at the Grand Diamond City Casino and Hotel in the Cambodian town of Poipet, which is located near the Thai border.

  • Over 300 responders and 11 firetrucks were reportedly sent to douse the blaze, which also left 70 people critically injured. Approximately 700 Thai citizens were rescued and sent to the hospital.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Casinos are illegal in Thailand, but they are an important part of Cambodia’s tourism industry. Poipet is especially famous for its busy cross-border trade, tourism, and countless casinos. Local authorities must answer why nothing had been done to improve health and fire safety in the area despite repeated complaints. This is a national disgrace.

Pro-establishment narrative

It's too early to jump to conclusions. Potential factors could include faulty wiring, criminal intent, or government apathy. Right now, the nation is in mourning, and the focus must remain on rescuing the trapped and saving as many lives as possible instead of casting blame. Due process will ultimately yield the truth.

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