No sprinklers on burned Bangkok hotel floor
The banquet room on the fifth floor of the Grand Park Avenue Hotel, where Thursday night’s fatal fire started, had no sprinklers and was probably built in an area planned as a carpark, Deputy Bangkok Governor Thirachon Manomaipibul said on Friday.
The whole floor had no sprinkler system installed, and the floor-to-ceiling distance appeared to be too low, Mr Thirachon said after inspecting the 15-storey, four-star hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 22 this morning.
He suspected the floor might have originally be designed as a carpark and the used for other purposes as part of the hotel’s extension.
An initial inspection found the premises occupioed by the Grand Park Avenue Hotel were registered as a residential building in 1989, and the owners sought permission to operate as a hotel in 1992, Mr Thirachon said.
Buildings that were built before 1992 were not required to install sprinklers under the 1992 Building Safety Control Act.
City Hall announced plans to draft a new ordinance demanding that owners of older buildings comply with the 1992 Building Safety Control Act following Saturday’s fire at the 33-year-old Fico Place highrise building in nearby Soi Asoke, Sukhumvit soi 21.
City Hall will set up 50 teams comprising officials from the Public Works Department. Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, City Law Enforcement Department and District Offices to inspect large private buildings in all 50 districts of Bangkok to ensure they comply with the building control law.
Pichaya Chantaranuwat, chair of building safety committee of the Engineering Institute of Thailand, said after inspecting the firte-damaged Grand Park Avenue Hotel that there was only one fire exit on the fifth floor where the fire started and no fire doors to prevent the blaze and smoke from quickly spreading to other floors.
The fire was reported around 9.40pm Thursday night. There were 23 hotel guests reported injured. Most were Russian. One of the injured, an Asian man, was later pronounced dead at hospital. Medical staff said he died from smoke asphyxiation.