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2 injured, 200 shops damaged in fire at Bangkok’s Chatuchak market

The fire started near Gate 1 of Chatuchak market. Strong winds helped spread the fire fast and the market's layout made it difficult for firefighters to reach the affected shops. PHOTOS: SCREENGRABS FROM @KAMOTWIT / TWITTER

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

BANGKOK, Jun 3, 2019, The Straits Times. A fire broke out at Thailand’s famous Chatuchak weekend market on Sunday (June 2) night, resulting in two injuries and damage to 200 shops, reported The Straits Times.

The fire, which started near Gate 1 of the market, was reported at around 9.15pm, and the blaze was brought under control by firefighters around one hour later, according to the Bangkok Post.

About 20 fire trucks were deployed to the scene in Chatuchak district, The Nation reported. Witnesses said they saw flames and heard sporadic explosions.

An initial assessment of the site found that a total of 200 shops inside the market, occupying an area of about 1,000 sq m, were damaged by the fire. The shops sold ceramics, wood and silk products.

The shops were close to one another and the layout of the market had made it difficult for the firefighters to reach the affected shops. The strong winds also helped spread the fire fast, according to The Nation.

Most of the shops were locked, as the market was closed for a holiday, forcing the firefighters to break into them to douse the flames.

Rescue volunteers posted on Twitter that two people were injured in the fire. It was not known who the two people were.

Mr Waranyu Deeruesarn, a vendor at the market, told reporters that he saw columns of smoke and flames inside a shop selling silk clothes.

Ms Naruemon sae Hoon, chairman of Chatuchak service cooperative, did not say what caused the fire, but she noted that the electrical outlets at the market tended to be overloaded. Electrical plugs used in the market were also below standard, she added.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

About 200,000 people visit the market’s 15,000 stalls every weekend, according to the Bangkok Post.

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