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Phi Phi fire leaves nine injured, tourists help battle flames

PHUKET: The site of the blaze on Phi Phi Island that destroyed or heavily damaged 25 buildings and left nine people, including six tourists, injured last night (Feb 6) has been sealed off while Forensic Police investigate the scene of the fire.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 7 February 2018, 01:10PM

The fire broke out at the October Hostel and Restaurant in Soi Slinky at 8:40pm, the Krabi office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Krabi) reported this morning (Feb 7).

Of the nine injured were three Argentinians, two Brazilians and an Israeli, said the report.

“The three Argentinians and the Israeli were treated at a clinic and released,” the report said.

The remaining three injured were Thai, though the extent of their injuries has yet to be revealed. However, one Thai man remains at Phi Phi Island Hospital with his arms heavily bandaged.

The current condition of the two Brazilians has also yet to be made clear.

One summary report from officials noted that injuries ranged from burns to the face and body to cuts on legs to breathing difficulty from smoke inhalation.

As the fire raged, more than 200 tourists and local residents joined the effort to douse the flames, passing water in buckets, ice coolers and any other object that could hold water to put out the fire.

After arriving in the densely built-up area, firefighters took more than an hour to extinguish the blaze.

New Paths Retreat

As the fire continued, the tourists and local residents not battling the flames themselves were evacuated to safe areas, including the beach. (See story here.)

At this stage officials believe the fire started by a leaking gas cylinder set alight by a spark in the October Hostel and Resto restaurant before quickly spreading to the adjacent buildings, many of which were tourist accommodations.

Officials from the Ao Nang Tambon Administrative Organisation (OrBorTor) along with Wuttisak Thongkerd, head of the “Phi Phi Island Protection and Conservation Team” and dozens of volunteers from local tourism operators helped to clear the area that has been reduced to ash and debris.

Tents have been set up for victims left without a place to sleep because of the fire.

Phi Phi Police have sealed off the area with no members of the public not assisting with the cleanup allowed to enter.

The scene where it is believed the fire originated has been sealed off to all people except Forensic Police while they investigate the scene.

Mr Wuttisak pointed out, “If there were enough water available (to fight the fire) and the area was not as crowded (with buildings), there would not be this much damage.

“These buildings were not strong enough and easily caught fire. We have to find the way to prevent similar incidents in the future,” he added.



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