where fire blazed had no sprinklers
A late-night fire at a popular Bangkok hotel injured
16 foreign guests and took three hours to extinguish
because the 30-year-old building had no water sprinkler
BANGKOK, Thailand -- A late-night fire at a popular
Bangkok hotel injured 16 foreign guests and took three
hours to extinguish because the 30-year-old building
had no water sprinkler system, police said Wednesday.
The blaze, which started in a second-floor room at
the downtown Mandarin Hotel, forced hundreds of guests
to flee, police Lt. Col. Chakarin Panthong said.
Smoke spread to the 10th floor and 16 people -- all
foreigners -- suffered smoke inhalation and were hospitalized,
he said. About 400 other guests were evacuated safely.
The hotel said the fire, which broke out shortly
after midnight, affected a storage area, a fitness
room and one wing of a connected building.
Police were investigating the cause of the fire,
but an initial investigation showed a short-circuit
The fire took three hours to put out because there
was no sprinkler system, Chakarin said.
Bangkok Gov. Apirak Kosayothin said the rescue operation
was complicated because the area was crowded and the
fire occurred late at night, when guests had to be
Officials and engineers will examine the building's
structure and determine whether the hotel has adequate
safety measures, he said.
Some guests criticized hotel management for the way
it handled the emergency.
Danish tourist Martin Andersen, 27, from Copenhagen,
said there was no fire alarm. His girlfriend Gitte
Christensen, 27, called the situation "chaotic."
"This has been handled very, very badly in my
opinion. There is just nobody in charge," said
George Adigun, 39, a commodity consultant from London.
"There is no evacuation point. No one from the
hotel has come out to tell us what is happening."
Mandarin Hotel management could not immediately be
reached to comment.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand halted trading in
shares of Mandarin Hotel PCL after the incident, but
later resumed trading when the company clarified that
the building was insured. The cost of the damage has
not been fully assessed, the company said in a statement
to the SET.