25 houses collapse into canal in Samut Prakan

Stock photo by Shankar S.

25 Samut Prakan houses fell into the Khlong Bang Hia canal last night in the Bang Phli district. Local people said embankments along the canal and pond had been sinking since Monday, and a subcontractor unsuccessfully tried to repair them. The earth embankment finally broke on Thursday night, and water from the canal flooded into the nearby pond. After the canal ran dry, the bank crumbled, and the houses collapsed.

Families fled the scene, collecting as many of the most prized possessions they could. Emergency services cordoned off the area, and district officials were also called to the scene. Police reported no injuries. Neighbourhoods next to canals in Thailand are often impoverished, such as Thailand’s infamous Khlong Tuy slum. Houses in these neighbourhoods are often unstable and shack-like. Inhabitants of these areas often live there because they cannot afford proper housing.

The Bang Phli district is a tourism attraction home to the famous Bang Phli floating market on Khlong Samrong canal (a different canal than the one where the houses collapsed). It is assumed that Chinese traders must have opened the market during around 1875, and it used to be used for transportation in addition to trade. Bang Phli is also home to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the biggest airport in Thailand, and the tenth biggest in the world.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Tourism Thailand | World Population Review | Borgen Magazine

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