Kep Building Collapse Kills 36, Including 6 Children

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Rescuers search for survivors of a building collapse in Kep province on January 4, 2019. (VOD)

UPDATED 1:20 p.m. — Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday said he would consider removing unnamed officials who had urged him to fire the governor of Kep province following a building collapse there that killed 36 people.

Rescue teams have pulled 23 injured survivors and the bodies of the dead, including six children, from the rubble of an under-construction, seven-story building, which fell on Friday in the coastal province, Kep City Hall said in a statement on Sunday.

In a speech broadcast live on his Facebook page to mark the end of rescue operations, Hun Sen said Kep governor Ken Satha would keep his role, while those voicing criticism of provincial officials may lose their positions.

The premier, who spoke in Kep at the site of the collapsed building, did not mention any politician by name but appeared to be replying to comments made by Cambodian Youth Party leader Pich Sros, who is also a member of a government advisory committee.

“But I can assure you — to avoid any wondering — that the Kep governor and officials will not be deposed,” Hun Sen said.

Sros on Saturday said that Satha should be fired over the building collapse.

Last year, 28 people were killed and 26 others injured after an under-construction, seven-story building in Sihanoukville collapsed on top of them. The Preah Sihanouk provincial governor resigned from his position following the collapse and was reassigned to another government role within days.

Correction: The article originally said the former Preah Sihanouk provincial governor was removed from his position following a building collapse that killed 28 people. He resigned from his position.

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