DNA Tests Start on Six Unidentified Bodies from Poipet Casino Blaze

DNA tests have started on six unidentified bodies that were recovered from the Poipet casino fire that killed 26 and injured 57
Remains of the Grand Diamond City Hotel and Casino after the blaze. Kiripost via Banteay Meanchey Provincial Police
Remains of the Grand Diamond City Hotel and Casino after the blaze. Kiripost via Banteay Meanchey Provincial Police

Authorities have begun DNA tests on six unidentified bodies from a Poipet casino fire that left 26 dead and injured 57 more, a Banteay Meanchey Provincial Hall spokesman said on Thursday.

Authorities said that as of December 30, a total of 26 bodies have been found and they are mostly Thai. Among the dead, 17 were Thai, one Nepali, one Malaysian, one Chinese, and there are six unidentified bodies.

Sek Sokhom, head of the provincial information department, said that a freezer truck has been lent from Thailand to store body parts in Cambodia for the DNA testing.

“We are doing DNA tests on bodies that are unidentified,” Sokhom told Kiripost, adding that he is not yet aware of the results.

Sokhom said that he had heard of two Cambodian families whose relatives are missing after the fire at Grand Diamond City Hotel and Casino at Poipet International Gate.

Soum Chankea, a provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc in Banteay Meanchey province, said that he too has heard of people claiming they have relatives missing in the fire. He urged them to come forward so authorities can help with answers.

“I’ve heard of families claiming missing relatives but in reports, they say no Cambodian was killed,” Chankea told Kiripost. “With this information about [those] missing, authorities seem to not pay attention and I urge those to come out to file complaints to find them.”

Banteay Meanchey province resident Huot Hoeun said on Thursday that he has one relative missing, 32-year-old Sam Sreymom, and that a casino representative has visited the family to collect documents.

“We saw some bones and parts but to know who that person is, we can’t know,” Hoeun told Kiripost.