Cambodian authorities have confirmed the deaths of 27 people after a fire broke out at a casino in the border town of Poipet last week.
The Grand Diamond City casino and hotel had around 1,000 customers on site when the fire broke out last Wednesday, ripping through the 17-storey complex.
According to a report by The Khmer Times, investigations suggested the fire may have been caused by new year’s decorations attracting excess electricity and causing wires to overheat.
“Hotel and casino workers used fire extinguishers to stop the fire but to no avail,” said Poipet City Governor Keat Hul.
“People were panicking and rushing about everywhere but mainly for the nearest exit. I was told that there was a stampede out at the main entrance when black smoke was billowing through the building.”
Hul added that many of the deaths had been caused by smoke inhalation or people leaping from the building to avoid the blaze, which burned for over five hours.
Another 112 people were reportedly injured.
Among the deceased to have been identified were victims from Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, Malaysia and China, with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen describing the incident as “a tragedy at the end of the year.”
Poipet is home to more than a dozen casinos catering to the neighboring Thai market.