By Kitipong Mameerit
There are 32 old temples in the Bangkok Noi district, district director Nattapong Meepokkit said. His officials will assess each site to evaluate its safety to prevent similar accidents.
“We do not know the cause of the collapse. It is pending investigation by police,” Nattapong said. “The Fine Arts Department is supervising the renovation.”
A construction firm has been renovating the temple, which is on Arun-Amarin 15 Road. Workers were renovating a pagoda lifted, when the bell tower collapsed.
One worker died and 11 were injured, including three who were in a serious condition. One man may even lose his leg.
Initially it was believed that nobody died from the accident and that the injured were transported to hospitals nearby.
However one worker, identified as Suriyan Thongsai, could not be accounted for and was later found lying face down near the pagoda’s foundation.
Nattapong says his office will consult with those involved over compensation for the injured. Relatives of the deceased will be advised to file a complaint with police against those responsible for the accident.
Those who were in charge of supervising the renovation will also be identified in a few days, according to Bangkok Noi’s deputy police commander.
They will be charged with negligence leading to injury and deaths of others, Pol Colonel Peechaya Hawangju said.
Fine Arts Department director-general Anant Chuchote has visited the site to collect information for determining the specific cause of the incident, and to determine whether it was the result of negligence or purely an accident.
He revealed that engineers who were in charge of the work have experience in similar work. Anant said he will chair a meeting to identify measures to prevent further damage to the pagoda.
Meanwhile, Suriyan’s wife visited the site and performed a religious ritual to invite his spirit back home.