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Homes partially collapse in 2 provinces

Jack Burton

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Homes partially collapse in 2 provinces | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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In 2 separate incidents, the area around the 3 storey flat block that tilted and partially collapsed on Wednesday in the in Samut Sakhon, southwest of Bangkok, has been declared a disaster zone. And in neighbouring Samut Prakun, due south of the capitol, the Engineering Institute of Thailand is investigating 20 houses where pillars, ceilings, roofs and walls were found cracked the same day.

The declaration on the apartment area was made at an urgent meeting called by Samut Sakhon’s deputy provincial governor, which also ordered that a panel be formed to establish the cause of the incident within 2 days. Another committee is examining the building’s design and whether it was approved by city planners.

A sign now warns that the area is off-limits to unauthorised personnel, despite media reports that the meeting ordered local officials to allow tenants to return to retrieve essential belongings. Now that a disaster zone has been declared, the provincial office can enable emergency funds to be disbursed as relief for those affected.

The block, in Soi Seree Factory, tambon Phanthai Norasing, shook and then partially collapsed at 7pm on Wednesday, sending terrified residents fleeing for their lives. The incident was captured on video and went viral on social media. Fortunately, no casualties were reported. Most residents were factory workers and many were in their rooms at the time.

CCTV camera footage showed the building suddenly subsiding in a cloud of dust and rubble. When the dust cleared be seen leaning backwards, with the first-storey pillars at the front of the building severed at the top.

But the building remained standing, and shocked residents were all able to get out unharmed, although some had to break their way out of their rooms because their doors were jammed shut or blocked. They said walls and ceilings were all cracked.

67 year old building owner Yiam Kamlim said it was built in 2015 and its foundation piles are 21 metres deep. She told reporters Her tenants will be re-housed at a new building that stands on 30-metre-deep piles. Some displaced tenants were even being accommodated temporarily at Yiam’s house.

The EIT surveyed the site yesterday with a team bringing equipment to measure the extent of the structural damage and investigate the possible cause of the ground subsidence. Institute president Thanes Veerasiri said a nearby pond may have compromised the building’s structural strength.

Homes partially collapse in 2 provinces | News by The ThaigerHomes partially collapse in 2 provinces | News by The ThaigerHomes partially collapse in 2 provinces | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Thai Residents

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Bangkok

Around 10 villagers hospitalised after chemical spill in Samut Prakan

Caitlin Ashworth

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Around 10 villagers hospitalised after chemical spill in Samut Prakan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sanook

Around 10 people were hospitalised after a chemical tank spilled at a village in Samut Prakan, just southwest of Bangkok. Those near the spill reported feeling nauseous and some had trouble breathing. Officals do not known what chemical was in the tank.

The 1 metre tank had been taken to the woods by 2 employees at a Bangphli Niwet Village second hand shop who hoped they could take it apart and sell the scrap metal. The 2 employees fainted when the tank spilled. Trees and grass in a 100 metre radius of the chemical spill died.

The chemical let off a strong odor and Thai media says the fumes spread to the village. Those at the second hand shop, close by to the chemical spill, started to feel nauseous and some had trouble breathing. Some people reported skin rashes after the incident. Around 10 villagers, including children, were sent to hospital.

Thai media says police secured the area and sprayed water into the air. 500 metres around the tank has been sealed off and workers are cleaning the area to remove the chemical. Medics are doing health checks to make sure others are not experiencing symptoms from the fumes.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Crime

Man arrested for fake immigration documents operation at Bangkok grocery store

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested for fake immigration documents operation at Bangkok grocery store | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Naewna

A Burmese man was arrested after he allegedly faked work permit documents and stamps, operating at a produce shop in Bangkok near the Myanmar Embassy. After a number of cases involving Burmese migrants with fake visa documents and bogus stamps, immigration officers investigated the grocery store, posing as customers.

Many customers entering the grocery store didn’t buy vegetables and were seen exchanging documents, according to Thai media. After going undercover and collecting evidence, immigration officials arrested the Burmese man, Thai media reports as Ong, and 2 women allegedly involved in the scheme. They searched the property and found a large number of Myanmar passports and various kinds of stamps.

Ong allegedly admitted to producing fake immigration stamps, work permit applications and other immigration documents. He charged around 2,000 to 3,000 baht for his services, police say. Ong, who has lived in Thailand for a while and can read Thai, allegedly told police he acquired legal work permits and the proper documents, becoming familiar with the stamps and documents needed by immigration. He allegedly told police he copied immigration stamps as well as stamps from hospitals used on medical certificates.

Thai media says immigration police are now expanding their investigation to crack down on other operations producing fake visa documents and stamps.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Bangkok

Immigration police arrest 3 at Bangkok airport, 2 Thais allegedly had fake US visas

Caitlin Ashworth

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Immigration police arrest 3 at Bangkok airport, 2 Thais allegedly had fake US visas | The Thaiger
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Thai immigration police arrested 3 people at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport after immigration officials checked their biometrics system. Police arrested 2 Thai nationals who were attempting to leave the country with fake United States visas and another Thai woman who was allegedly involved in a romance scam gang.

The Thai man and woman were caught while going through an immigration check at the airport. They say they each paid 50,000 baht for the visas, hoping to travel to America. They sent their passports to the visa seller and had set up a meeting to pick them up. Thai media did not give details on who was selling the visas. Police called the United States Embassy, confirming the visas are fake and no visas from the United States have been issued under the 2 names.

Immigration police also arrested a Thai woman allegedly involved in money laundering and a romance scam gang, according to Thai media. Reports don’t go into detail about the woman’s charges, but say she was allegedly involved in international crime and had an Interpol red notice. Immigration officials confirmed her location by checking the airport’s biometrics system.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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