Video: Eakkapop Thongtub
The fire started at around 9.40pm this evening. Early reports say around 1,000 staff were inside SuperCheap at the time of the fire. There are now around 50-60 firetrucks at the scene, and around 300 firefighters. At 2am, there were still no details about the injured or if any people are dead. A support centre for the public has been set up at the Phuket Provincial Hall.
A Phuket Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation official told The Phuket News on Thursday, “I have not received any reports about any injured or dead people. The fire is under control now. We have 15 officials from the department standing by at the scene to help.”
An earlier report said one person had been treated at Vachira Hospital, but it was now established this man was not injured by the fire.
Phuket Vice Governor Sommai Prijasilpa is now at the scene of the blaze along with mayors from other districts in Phuket.
Police have now evacuated the area due to the risk of a possible explosion, both from the gas tanks inside SuperCheap and also the nearby Esso petrol station.
Phuket News reporter at the scene Naraporn Tuarob said she arrived to find a lot of flames coming out of the building and people running from the scene.
“At the moment I can hear explosions but I don’t know where they are coming from. The flames have moved to the Thanksina wood factory.
“One couple told me they were about to pay the bill inside the store, and someone told them there was a fire – people were yelling “fire fire”. Then they ran out of the store and everyone else was running. They said everything was in chaos.”
A pregnant Thai woman who lived in the village behind SuperCheap told The Phuket News on Wednesday night, “My husband and I heard a loud bomb noise around 9.30pm. Then I saw the flames and we escaped out. There is only one main exit onto the main road, but we went the back way and managed to get out.”
Rasha Shidmaher, originally from Iran but living in Phuket for two years, was driving in the area when he saw the fire, and stopped to take a video.
"It was awful when I saw the people crying and trying to leave the area where the fire was. There were people screaming and trying to leave the area. I saw a lot of ambulances as well from all around the island."
Families living nearby have been ordered by officials to evacuate the area.
One early report said the damage could be around B900 million.
Nuengruethai Buddawong was at SuperCheap around 10.30pm this evening, after she drove there from Khao Rang Hill to see what the fire was.
"I can hear the sirens and the bomb sounds. The traffic police have blocked the main road and the alleyway to get through to SuperCheap. Now I'm at the electric company office close by. On the main road there are a lot people."
Are you at the scene or do you have photos? Call The Phuket News on 0807137278