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On top of fire this week, Bangkok’s Chinatown deals with house collapse

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Photo by Nation Thailand.

Bangkok’s Chinatown has had a rough week. After a fire killed 2 people in the Samphanthawong district on June 26, a house collapsed this morning in the same district. The district is located beside the Chao Phraya River.

The house’s owner said the 2 storey house was built 260 years ago and was the first Chinese-style building to be built in Bangkok. A tenant said a section of the house caved in, in the early hours of the morning, waking him up with a loud noise. The tenant said he was relieved, however, when he learned that everyone in the house was safe.

The house owner, a 78 year old woman, said the old house was built with no supporting beams, which newer houses are built with. She said the house’s old age could have caused subsidence and the eventual collapse.

Local police and authorities inspected the site today and cordoned off the affected area.

Earlier this week, the Samphanthawong district also suffered a fire in the historic Sampeng market, which killed 2 people. Terrified shoppers ran for their lives as the blaze gutted 5 houses before firefighters arrived on the scene to put out the flames.

Like the house that collapsed today, the Sampeng market also has a rich history with Thailand’s Chinese community. Chinese immigrants settled there in 1782, the year Bangkok became Thailand’s capital.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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