News Construction crane collapse kills five in Cambodia

Construction crane collapse kills five in Cambodia

Officers stand by a collapsed crane at Poipet, west of Phnom Penh, on Wednesday. Photo: Poipet Authority Police via AP
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A construction crane in Cambodia’s north-western city of Poipet on the border with Thailand has collapsed, killing at least five people and injuring four others.

The crane was being operated on ground made wet by rain, rendering it unstable, said Ath Khem, chief of the Banteay Meanchey provincial police.

He said the crane fell on Wednesday as it was lifting heavy concrete blocks, and described the accident as resulting from carelessness.

The crane fell on houses next to the construction site, killing the victims.

No one involved in the construction work was hurt, he said.

Poipet, a major trading post, is a boom town with many casinos patronised by foreigners, including many from Thailand.

It has a reputation as a “sin city”.

In recent years, a fast-growing economy fuelled a construction spree in Cambodia. But the building boom has suffered from a number of fatal accidents, the result of shoddy construction practices and poor enforcement of safety standards.

In January, at least 36 people were killed in the collapse of a building under construction in the southern city of Kep, with 23 others rescued alive.

Women and children were among the victims, since it is not unusual in South-East Asia for the families of construction workers to live at the work site.