Koh Chang hotel collapse caused by weak foundation and land erosion

The weak foundation and heavy rains wearing away the soil beneath the building were blamed for the collapse of a Koh Chang hotel, which killed one Thai woman and left five others injured, according to the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT).

It was revealed that the EIT couldn’t examine the building’s printed plans because they had been lost in a major flood on Koh Chang years ago. But an inspection of the collapsed building itself, constructed more than 10 years ago, revealed several problems with the structure and the site, EIT’s Secretary-general Siriwat Chaichana announced at a press conference yesterday.

Drainage ditches were needed to send water away from the foundation of the hotel, which was built on a hillside. The situation was further compounded by a retaining wall behind the building that kept water from being absorbed back into the hill. This lack of absorption helped to create a landslide. It was also discovered that the collapsed building was built over a swamp, according to Bangkok Post.

The construction was approved in 2003 and that the construction was in accordance with the Hotel Act.

The two-story Siam Beach Resort hotel building collapsed on Koh Chang after heavy rains on Saturday. The incident killed Kotchakorn Thammachak, 37.

The other injured victims were Pairoj Wiriyarak, 54, and his wife, Walee Sunthornsarn, 37, whose hip was crushed by the concrete debris. Their 3-year-old son, Reeong Wiriyarak, had a broken leg. The two other victims, Thatthanat Wiriyabut, 39, received serious wounds to his feet and Joranee Pandokmai, 35, had a fractured tailbone.

The building was one of six two-floor accommodations at the resort in tambon Koh Chang Tai, but it was not the only one that was discovered to be in danger of collapse.

It was announced that the owner could have avoided the accident by reinforcing the foundations.

Koh Chang municipality has declared the hotel closed indefinitely and the area a disaster area. The owner has said he will demolish all the buildings deemed unsafe.

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