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Pattaya Daily News

Hilton
05 January 2009 :: 08:01:26 am 39545

Fire Breaks out At Sua Pa Plaza; Shopping And Residential Plaza Building in Bangkok

Bangkok-At 08.40 pm, on 4 January 2009, Pluplachai Police investigator, Pol. Lt.Taworn Yunyong was notified that a fire broke out at the Sua Pa Plaza in Pomprab district. A police team, rescue team and?the fire department with about 60 fire engines were deployed to fight the blaze, causing traffic congestion on the Sua Pa road.
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At the shopping and residential plaza building, the blaze broke out from the first floor which was the mobile phone shopping area. The fire was quickly spread to other floors, causing panic among many residents inside the building. Many of them rushed to the rooftop, waiting for help.

The building’s 4th-6th floor are residential area of 50 rooms to each floor with totally 12 rooms were occupied while the 7th to 9th floors provided sauna service. By 9:15 pm, fire fighters managed to control the blaze and rescue 15 people from the building.

About 20 other residents were still trapped inside the second and third floor. Authorities were trying to rescue them by using helicopters. They were being directed to the rooftop.

Fire fighters also went inside the building and rescued some 10 other people from the first to fourth floors.

Later on, 30 more people fled to the rooftop and were rescued by a helicopter which landed on the roof of adjacent building. The stranded people were directed through a stairway to the adjacent building and were lifted to safety by the helicopter late at night.

Pol Lt Gen Suchart Muenkaew, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said about 100 people live inside the building and at least 50 of them were rescued. One body was found on the rooftop [8th floor]. His name was Mr. Sa-nguan Sankeaw[46]. He was wearing a white towel, sitting against the wall. Police presumed he was a sauna customer.

Firefighters continued to douse the building with water but smokes still billowed out of the building late Sunday night, causing fear that the building would collapse.

The Erawan Emergency Centre reported that 32 people were rushed to the Central Hospital, 6 Hua Chiew Hospital, 4 to Vajira Hospital, 3 to Lerdsin Hospital, 1 to Rajvithi Hospital and another to the Ramathibodi Hospital.

Mr. Manoon Jinchart [46], the manager of GSM Guesthouse and sauna, on 5,6,and 7 floor said, before the incident occurred he was on the first floor which was the mobile phone shops area. Most of the shops were closed. He had noticed some black smoke was coming out of a shop. He and 6-7 building staff had attempted to extinguish the fire but it was difficult to operate through the steel bars door. He said the strong flame spread very quickly. He then called the guesthouse receptionist to inform their guests. There were 14 rooms occupied with 2 rooms of foreign guests and 120 people were using sauna services at that time.

 

Mr. Manoon said he had managed to help 7-8 guests and led them to the rooftop and advised them to climb across to the adjacent building. However Mr. Manoon rushed outside escaping death through a fire exit.

A survivor, Mr. Manus Klahtae [33] a sauna customer said he and another 40 people had escaped through fire exit, climbed up to the rooftop and waited for the rescuers. “ We’ve learned a lot from the Santika accident, to be patient , not to panic. We had wet towels to cover our nose. I kept telling people who tried to jump, I said we would be safe to wait up there, if we had to die we?d better die up on the roof together, but we are lucky” He added.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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