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Phuket villagers accidentally torch ‘lucky’ 100-year-old banyan tree

PHUKET: Villagers in Srisoonthorn, in central Phuket, who lit candles and prayed to 100-year-old banyan tree for lucky numbers to win the lottery saw their candles accidentally set fire to the tree, and watched as their luck went up in flames on the night before the national lottery was drawn.

culture, accidents,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 2 March 2017, 12:21PM

Lt Weerayut Suksanguan of the Thalang Police Station was informed of the fire at 11pm on Tuesday (Feb 28).

Police soon arrived at the scene, on Thepkrasattri Rd in Moo 5, Srisoonthorn, along with firefighters on board two fire trucks and supported by two water trucks.

“It took 50 mins to control the fire,” one firefighter said.

“We fought the fire for 20 minutes but strong winds made it difficult. We were afraid that the fire would spread to a metal sheet shop right next to it, so we called in two more fire trucks from Cherng Talay and Pa Khlok as well cherry picker from Thalang Electricity Office,” the firefighter added.

“The tree was more than 100 years old and stood more than 15 metres tall,” another firefighter said.

“The fire started at the base of the tree where there spirit houses were. People lit candles to pray for spirits and wishing for luck to win the lottery for tomorrow,” explained Lt Weerayut.

However, the tree could not be saved. The fire had gutted the core of the trunk, and firefighters later cut the tree down for safety.

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Regardless, one hopeful local resident said, “Even though the tree was burnt down, the spirits are still in the spirits houses where they continue to live.”

The wining numbers for the lottery drawn yesterday are:

1st Prize: 978453

First three digits: 450 , 560

Last three digits: 052, 577

Last two digits: 78

The Phuket News has yet to learn if any of the villagers had won.



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Rorii | 09 March 2017 - 17:20:42

Eagle, what makes you an "expert" on Thai culture? I guess you simply do not understand what a "thinking" person actually is, as you seem not to be one. Arrogant def: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities. Seems you do not understand the word. Without "thinking" people, we would still be in the dark ages, in fact, cave man would never have picked up a stick, or stone, and used it as a tool.... speaking of tools, mmmmm.

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jogi | 04 March 2017 - 03:19:52

a wile ago i was ask by a neighbour to make him a new mini ladder for his mini ghosthouse, the old was worn down by the weather or the little bugger. my neighbour allway's put fruit, rice,sweets and hongtong out for him, but lately the food stay untouched because of the missing ladder. I made the ladder and and smeard contactglue on it. guess what happen? the food and hongtong disapear now again, all kind of insect's still get stuck'd but the little bugger somehow free'd himself. wanted  to make a foto of him, stuck'd to his ladder (the first ever got on film in thailand) and get crown'd to be the most senil farrang in thailand

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Eagle | 03 March 2017 - 17:59:07

Rorii,only a person not familiar with the way thai people think about things like luck or bad luck would question this.Or arrogant people like you.

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Rorii | 03 March 2017 - 11:48:37

Eagle, culture is one thing, thinking is another, you should try it some day.
Here a "thinking" person would ask, with so many "lucky" trees, amulets, snakes, dogs, potatoes etc, Thailand, and its people, should be the most posperous, in the entire world, which it is not, a thinking person would the question all this "luck."
Best you try some thinking.

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Eagle | 03 March 2017 - 09:18:28

Kurt,another example of your arrogance!When do you want to accept that people here have another way of seeing things and believing.I am sure they have various rituals in your country.Do they always make sense?Maybe for your people they do as the rituals here do for thais.

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Kurt | 02 March 2017 - 16:55:36

I feel sad about this 100 year old tree.
Quite a inheritance, gone because of 'non thinking' behavior.
And for what? Lottery ticketing matters? Are they nuts?
And so many things happens this way. Sad, sad, sad.

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CaptainJack69 | 02 March 2017 - 15:40:44

I wonder if they're going to start praying to the spirits to thank them for saving their homes and businesses from the fire. Maybe next time the fireman can leave the job to the dead people and just stay home. See how the 'spirits' deal with it.

Think about this, take away the invisible fairy people and this would at best be criminal negligence, at worst arson.

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