Phuket Chinese cemetery fire set by spiritual arsonists

PHUKET TOWN: Arson was the cause behind a fire that raged among the graves of the Chinese cemetery near Rang Hill in Phuket Town yesterday.

A villager living nearby said the fire started around 3pm.

Phuket City Municipality firefighters put the blaze out, but it reignited again in the evening.

It was set deliberately, the man said.

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“It normally happens around this time of year, in advance of the Chinese Qingming festival,” the man explained. “They use the fire to clear out brush.”

The Qingming festival, which usually falls around April 5 each year, is when Chinese remember and honor their ancestors at grave sites.

Firefighters at the scene said they were controlling the fire to make sure it did not burn power lines and nearby buildings.

“The fire was started by local men. Even if we stop it now, they will start it again later,” one said.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

Phuket News
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