Udon Thani temple’s rice husk pagoda destroyed by fire

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A revered temporary rice husk pagoda at Wat Nakathewi in Udon Thani province was engulfed in flames last night, leaving behind a charred metal framework.

At 9pm yesterday, February 5, local disaster prevention and mitigation officials were alerted to the fire, which rapidly consumed the structure despite the efforts of firefighters, temple committee members, and residents.

Notably, the temple’s cherished Luang Por Nak Buddha was saved from the blaze, unlike other statues that were blackened by the fire.

The fire broke out at the temporary rice husk pagoda, situated beside the main temple hall at Wat Nakathewi, engulfing the revered structure adorned with dried rice sheaves and decorative lights.

Udon Thani temple's rice husk pagoda destroyed by fire | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Initial attempts to quell the flames with water proved futile as the dry rice husks fueled the fire, which destroyed the pagoda but, fortunately, did not spread to other areas.

Prior to the incident, the local municipality had organized an event to venerate the pagoda from January 6 to 14, keeping the structure illuminated at night for tourists to admire its beauty, as it is located in the famous Nakha Fabric Market, a popular attraction in Udon Thani.

Amidst the ruins, the temple’s devotees successfully rescued the venerated Luang Por Nak Buddha, which remained unscathed, contrasting with other statues that were scorched.

Udon Thani temple's rice husk pagoda destroyed by fire | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Yosakorn Samjai, a 16 year old temple disciple, was at the scene when he noticed an electrical fire at the base of the pagoda. Despite swift efforts to extinguish the fire with cloths and water hoses, the flames quickly consumed the entire structure.

The damage is estimated to be around 160,000 baht (US$4,469), believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit, possibly due to heavy rainfall the previous day.

The temple’s abbot, Archimandrite Natthapol Tapasil, dismissed any notion of a curse, attributing the cause to an electrical fault.

Discussions with the temple committee about rebuilding the pagoda for the following year are underway, with a commitment to enhanced precautions to prevent a recurrence of such a disaster, reported KhaoSod.

Udon Thani temple's rice husk pagoda destroyed by fire | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

In related news, a fire at Wat Latthiwanaram in Chalong, Phuket, caused significant damage to a building used for funeral proceedings. Authorities swiftly responded, and no injuries were reported. An investigation is underway to determine the cause.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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