2 injured, 200 shops damaged in Chatuchak market fire
BANGKOK: The Chatuchak weekend market in the Thai capital caught fire on Sunday, resulting in injuries to two people and damage to 200 shops.
Firefighters took one hour to put out the fire which was reported at 9.15pm.
The fire started near Gate 1 of the market, according to the Bangkok Post.
About 20 fire trucks were deployed, 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 made it difficult for the firefighters to reach the affected shops.
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.
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 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.