Central World shopping center now safe

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Bangkok – Central World shopping center in the Pathumwan district of Bangkok has been inspected following Wednesday’s fire. Officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and Office of Public Works, as well as the Engineering Institute of Thailand and police from the Forensic Science Division, revealed that hot smoke had come from a basement room running up the air ducts into the eighth floor.

Phichaya Chantharanuwat, the secretary general of the Engineering Institute of Thailand, said the inspection has found out that hot smoke had arisen from the fire fighting pump room in the B2 basement ground and run up the vertical air ducts to the eighth floor of the building and spread throughout the floor.

Thirayut Phumisak, the deputy director of the BMA’s Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said the hot smoke found no exit from inside the building and became a huge blaze with a temperature of 700 to 800 degrees Celsius, bursting the air ducts, blocking the exit to the fire ladders and spreading in all directions on the eighth floor.

Sirivat Chaichana, the secretary general of the Engineering Institute of Thailand, said blackish stains of smoke were spotted on some part of the air duct channel but assured that the building’s structures remain in a strong condition. The institute has called for the design plans of the building to see if they have been laid as legally required.

Central World shopping center reopened Friday following the inspections by the authorities. The owners of about 3,000 automobiles which had remained in the building’s parking lot were offered to have them washed free of charge. Central Pattana Co., the owner of the shopping center, has publicly assured the sustained safety of the building in accordance with the international safety standards for fire accidents.