At least two people died and 20 were injured when fire broke out earlier this month at a shopping centre in Bangkok, forcing some people to jump from the burning building. The Central World Complex, which includes a shopping mall, offices, and a hotel, was evacuated, said operator Central Pattana. Among the 20 victims who suffered injuries, mostly from smoke inhalation, six were male and 14 were female. Six were later released, while 14 needed to stay in hospital for further treatment. Local media showed video of one person jumping from a smoked-filled window to escape the fire.
“I saw smoke coming out from the building and two people jumped,” Thanusit Kidtham, an eyewitness, told Reuters. The blaze started in the parking garage of the complex, police said. The fire came in an area popular with tourists, just days before the Songkran holiday on April 13 to 15. Meanwhile, Central Pattana, the company which operates the mall, said responded to comments that fire alarms did not ring during the incident. The company said that the mall applied a sectional alarm system.
This is intended to prevent unnecessary panic if all the mall’s alarms are ringing at the same time, and could lead to accidents during evacuation. On the day of the fire, the alarm at B2 floor and eighth floor rang, the company said, adding that the mall has smoke detection devices and evacuation situation assessment in place The company said the mall immediately announced that people should leave the premises and security guards, who had been trained in regular drills, were at designated points to assist evacuation.