Investigation continues after Chinatown fire kills 2

Photo: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
Photo: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

Authorities this morning were investigating the cause of a huge blaze in Chinatown which killed two people and injured a half dozen others.

The Metropolitan Electricity Authority was investigating in detail what caused Sunday’s fire that broke out at a home in the historic Sampeng area of Bangkok’s old town.

The fire started at around 11:20am  in a three-story shophouse before quickly spreading to other nearby shophouses. It took about three hours for firefighters and a dozen fire trucks to extinguish the fire. 

The blaze injured at least six people and killed two people at the scene: Jirapat Soommak, 52, and a Cambodian national only identified as Petchduan, 34. Both were employees at Ratchawong Rung Ruang, a shop that deals with paper and plastic materials.

Photo: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

The shop owner, Surachat Kittirudeekul, said his shop had smoke detectors on every floor. He insisted that the fire did not result from any recklessness on behalf of his employees. Surachat said he will consult with a lawyer on whether to sue the Electricity Authority. 

According to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, its preliminary finding was that a transformer failed but is continuing to investigate.

The incident came less than a week after a major blaze ravaged a community in Bon Kai along the Rama IV Road, destroying dozens of homes and displacing over 100 people.

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