UPDATE: Chatuchak Weekend Market fire, Bangkok

Bangkok’s governo, along with forensic officers, visited the world- famous Chatuchak market this morning to inspect damage caused by last night’s huge blaze that destroyed a total of 120 shops and damaged lots of others (revised up from 30 shops as reported earlier by The Thaiger).

Meanwhile witnesses report that an explosion in an electrical transformer could have caused the fire. Metropolitan Police Bureau Division 2, report that witnesses saw a spark at a transformer shortly before the fire started engulfing that section of the market.

The fire broke out at about 9.15pm after the market had already closed (at 6pm). The cause of the blaze that reportedly started in Zone 25.

Witnesses say they saw the flames and heard sporadic explosions. About 20 fire trucks were deployed to the scene and firefighters took about an hour and a half to bring the fire under control.

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An initial assessment of the site found that a total of 200 shops inside the market, covering about 1,000 square metres, were damaged by the fire, some completely destroyed.

Bangkok governor Asawain Kwanmuang visited the site this morning to estimate the damage and meet vendors affected by the fire. His office will set up a complaint centre for the affected vendors to register their complaints.

An initial investigation revealed that the shops destroyed by the fire sold ceramics, wood and silk products. The shops are very close to each other and the layout made it difficult for the firefighters to put out the blaze that spread fast due to the strong wind. Moreover most of the shops were locked, forcing the firefighters to break in to douse the flames.

Waranyu Deeruesarn, a vendor at the market, told reporters that he saw columns of smoke and flames inside a shop selling silk clothes. Most of the shops were already closed due to the long holidays.

SOURCE: The Nation

Bangkok News

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