Thu, August 18, 2022

in-focus

Prayut orders probe into state of burned down Sampheng shophouse


The prime minister has ordered related agencies to study the damages sustained as well as the structure of the shophouse that caught fire on Sunday morning in Bangkok’s Sampheng area. He is concerned about the building collapsing and causing more damage, the government spokesman said.

The blaze, which broke out at around 11.30am and took firefighters more than two hours to control, killed two and injured nine people, seven of whom were firefighters.

Witnesses told police the fire started when an old transformer in front of the building exploded, and flames quickly engulfed the shophouse. The fire then spread to four other shophouses in the vicinity and two cars parked in the area were also severely damaged.

“Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed condolences and is urging people to be cautious when using electrical appliances as they can short circuit during the hot season," government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Sunday evening. “He has also tasked related agencies to investigate the building structure and other damages immediately, and provide aid to those affected.”

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sitthiphan, who was at the scene on Sunday evening, said he will coordinate with the Metropolitan Electricity Authority to find out the cause of the fire, adding that there have been several reports of electrical malfunctions in the area before this incident.

“This is an expensive lesson we need to learn from,” he said. “We will try to move power cables underground as soon as possible to prevent such tragedies from happening again.”

Meanwhile, the Samphanthawong district office has set up a relief centre for those whose houses have sustained damage. Initially, each household will be given 49,500 baht in aid and relatives of the dead will be paid 29,700 each to cover funeral costs.

Published : June 27, 2022

By : THE NATION