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Massive Blaze Destroys Mon Market in Sangkhlaburi

By AKAR and AZAN

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A massive fire caused by an electrical fault has destroyed a Mon village marketplace in Sanghklaburi district, Kanchanaburi Province. The fire, which broke out on Tuesday night, burned down 36 shops as a Pagoda festival took place nearby.

A massive fire caused by an electrical fault has destroyed a Mon village marketplace in Sanghklaburi district, Kanchanaburi Province, on Feb 28, 2012. (photo: Zaehan Mon)

The fire began around 8pm last night and according to shop owners it has caused an estimated 100 million baht in damages. Despite the efforts of firefighters and shop keepers, the blaze was not able to be extinguished before it damaged a great many shops.

“The fire spread very quickly. We could not save anything from our market. I lost about 1.5 million baht,” said shop owner Nai Apol.  “It was very sad, but we could not do anything,” he added.

The market was an important economic earner in the Mon village of Wanka in Sangkhlaburi district; it offered furniture, precious stones and other goods, which had been smuggled from Burma. The Mon shop owners in the market mostly sold to the visitors who came to the village, deriving the majority of their business from furniture trading.

The largest of the destroyed showrooms was valued at approximately 4 million baht, and the smallest around 1 million, according to shop owners.

Many shop owners stored large amounts of furniture in their showrooms during summer time, due to the ease of transport from Burma through the border of Thailand in these months.

“I store all of furniture at my market. Many of the items are windows, which are very expensive,” said Nai Sarapon, another victim.

All my belongings were destroyed, which were valued at about 4 million,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Thai authorities have banned visitors from entering the site at the request of shop owners, who wanted to search for any remaining precious stones which might be found in the ashes.

Wanka village was settled in 1984. Currently, about 10,000 people live in the village. The village was established by a respected Mon Buddhist monk, Abbot Uttama. Uttama migrated to Thailand in 1949 with 60 followers, whilst trying to avoid the civil war in Burma.

The village is famous for the longest wooden bridge in Thailand (at 450 meters in length) and the Buddhagaryar Temple which is a reproduction of the Indian Buddhagaryar Temple.

Feedback From
Name of sender: Piyarat
Email of sender: Piyarat_gomart@yahoo.com
COMMENTS: I am so sorry to all victims.
Sad news:-(
Feedback From
Name of sender: Nai Banya Hongsar
Email of sender: channai@hotmail.com
COMMENTS: It is time, all Mons and business people in Mon community for thinking and using business insurance, business banking and investment banking like Thai and Chinese people. If fire, flood and other damaged to business, your lost a bit and return your saving and investment from the insurance. It is time that Mon leaders think and respond to this matter. No one rich for ever and no one poor for ever, we live and work for decent life with care and share the resources around us.

COMMENT

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