A land management officer in Kep province said the seven-story building that collapsed on Friday, killing 36 and injuring 23 others, had started construction without a license and had only been permitted to build up to six stories.
When asked why the department had not held the developers accountable sooner, the official skirted the question, saying a colleague had facilitated the permit, and it was signed off by the provincial governor.
The building’s owners, Ek Sarun and his wife Chhiv Sothy, have been provisionally charged by the provincial police with manslaughter, according to provincial police chief Ben Dara. An attorney suggested that local officials in charge of inspecting the site should share responsibility in the criminal case.
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