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Tenants evacuated after building collapse


TENANTS WERE yesterday evacuated from a partly collapsed commercial building as officials from Bangkok’s Chatuchak District Office planned to demolish the 37-year-old structure that housed 12 shops.

The building’s concrete front balconies and awnings collapsed, damaging several parked cars, on Wednesday afternoon
District Office chief Chaowarit Songnawarat accompanied engineers and other officials yesterday morning to inspect the sealed-off building behind the Pracha Niwet 1 Market.
 Chaowarit said Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s City Market Office (CMO) had cancelled the building’s rent contracts and asked tenants to temporarily move out pending a construction of new block to replace it. He said tenants had been warned many times since 2014 that the building wasn’t strong enough and might collapse. 
He also said there were 19 buildings covering 177 units around Pracha Niwet 1 area that had rent contracts cancelled due to their deteriorating condition, but many tenants had repeatedly refused to move out despite officials’ safety fears. A meeting last week between Chaowarit’s office, the CMO and tenants of the 177 units failed to resolve the issue.
During the evacuation from the partly collapsed building, each tenant family will initially receive Bt3,000 and temporary shelter in the nearby Pracha Niwet School.
CMO director Chainat Jetiyanuwat said those tenants had been told to leave since February and three previous meetings failed to have them relocated, so the CMO had sued them in the civil court. 
He said the city would also investigate and take legal action against anyone who sublet the buildings.
 Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning engineer Kiattisak Chandra said the 19 buildings had been rented out by CMO at Bt3,000-Bt6,000 per unit before the rent contracts were cancelled. An inspection by city-hired experts from Mahidol University deemed the buildings unsafe for habitation.
He said all tenants were invited to another meeting later yesterday with the related agencies to discuss suitable evacuation measures. 
 

Published : September 08, 2016

By : Kornkamon Aksorndech,<br /> S