Phuket governor to find relief measures for fire-impacted SuperCheap workers


BANGKOK, Oct 17 – Interior Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan today instructed concerned agencies to help than 3,000 workers of fire-leveled SuperCheap hypermarket in this southern resort island.

The minister said the situation was under control this morning and that an investigation is underway to find cause of the fire.

The blaze began about 9.30pm last night at the SuperCheap department store on Thepkasattri Road in the Phuket provincial seat.

Mr Jarupong instructed the Phuket governor to convene a meeting of concerned agencies to speed relief measures for the affected. Help centres were set up — one directed by the National Police Bureau while another as a cooperation of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

Initial inspection found  that 2,736 SuperCheap employees and some 700 Myanmar migrant workers have been affected, according to the minister.

Mr Jarupong said the Department of Employment is prepared to support temporary employment with about 1,600 available job positions.

The minister added that the SuperCheap owner will be asked to join the governor’s meeting to help lay out emergency relief measures for the company’s workers and other affected persons within today.

Phuket governor Maitree Intusutr said it took about 15 hours to extinguish the fire and he reaffirmed that, as of Thursday, no one was killed or injured in the incident.

He said concerned officials are waiting for permission from police to enter the compound to probe the cause of the fire and search for any casualties.