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HOTEL FIRE NEW JOURNAL-83
 

Australian injured in luxury hotel blaze
September 05, 2007 10:37am

AT least 12 people, including an Australian, were injured when a blaze broke out in a luxury Bangkok hotel early today.
The fire, which appeared to have started just after midnight in a ground-floor cafe being renovated, caused heavy damage to the Mandarin Hotel in Watana district.

The hotel is patronised mostly by Asian and Australian tour groups.

The fire quickly spread to other floors, trapping tourists in their rooms. Some took to the window ledges of their rooms to escape the thick smoke and to await rescue.

The injured guests, suffering from smoke inhalation, were mostly Japanese but only Australian tourist Yohannes Hailab was kept in hospital, hospital officials said.

The rest were released after treatment

About 400 other guests were evacuated.

Some hotel guests complained to television stations that hotel staff were slow to alert and evacuate them when the fire started. An initial probe showed a short-circuit sparked the fire, which burned for about three hours before firefighters put it out.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Chakarin Panthong said there was no sprinkler system in the 30-year-old hotel.

 

Bangkok hotel 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 was responsible.

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 woken up.

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.

 

 

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