Fatal hotel blaze 'was arson'

A man was killed and 11 people were injured when a fire broke out at the Grand Tower Inn Hotel in Khlong San district early yesterday, with police suspecting the blaze was an act of arson.

  • Published: 28/01/2013 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

A firefighter helps a guest onto a crane during the blaze that killed one man and left 11 other people injured.

Four men and seven women were injured in the fire - five Thais, two Japanese, two Chinese, one Korean and one Lao national.

Pol Lt Col Arwut Udomrat, an investigator at Samre police station, said the fire broke out about 2am.

At least 10 fire trucks responded, and firefighters managed to get the blaze under control after one hour. All eight floors of the hotel, on Charoen Nakhon Road, were damaged.

Police found the body of Pongkorn Boon-aram, 45, a worker at the hotel, in a bathroom on the third floor. They suspect he died from smoke inhalation.

The injured were sent to Taksin and Thon Buri 1 hospitals. Some of them have since been discharged.

Pol Maj Gen Rassadakorn Yingyong, chief of Metropolitan Police Region 8, said the fire broke out almost simultaneously in four different spots on the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th floors.

If the fire had been accidental, the blaze should have started at one spot before spreading to other areas, Pol Maj Gen Rassadakorn said.

However, police have not yet ruled out other circumstances, including electrical short circuits, as causing the fire.

Atcharawdee Chaisuvirat, Khlong San district chief, declared the building off-limits, fearing the fire may have damaged the building's structure. That could make it vulnerable to partial or total collapse.

Decho Iamcheerangkul, the owner, said he believed the fire was an act of arson. He said he will ask the manager if there had been any conflicts with any staff or guests.

Rescue workers give first aid to a hotel guest injured in a fire at the eight-storey Grand Tower Inn Hotel on Charoen Nakhon Road in Khlong San district early yesterday.

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