8th June 2016
Speaking at a press briefing on the accident, EIT secretary-general Siriwat Chaichana said heavy downpours had eroded the soil beneath the building and unsafe foundations were the cause of the building’s collapse.
Mr Siriwat said even though the EIT could not examine the resort’s building plan due to the Koh Chang municipality losing it in a major flood several years ago, a general inspection found problems with the way it was built. Drainage ditches were not constructed to divert rainwater from the mountain despite the hotel’s position on a foothill.
The collapse was compounded by a concrete wall built at the back of the hotel which was blocking water from the mountain being absorbed by the soil and leading to a landslide, he said.
One of six two-storey structures on the Siam Beach Koh Chang in tambon Koh Chang Tai came down on Saturday morning following heavy rain, leaving one tourist dead and four injured including a three-year-old boy.
The tourist was identified as Kotchakorn Thammachak, 37, while the two men, two women and the boy were identified as Pairoj Wiriyarak, 54, Watthanat Wiriyabut, 39, Walee Sunthornsarn, 37, Joranee Pandokmai, 35, and Reeong Wiriyabut.
The Koh Chang municipality ordered Siam Beach Resort to be closed indefinitely and has declared the area a disaster zone.
The initial inspection by municipal safety officials also found the collapsed building was built over a swamp.
Mr Siriwat said the hotel, located on slopes, was built on a concrete foundation constructed more than 10 years ago.
The operator should have reinforced its foundations to prevent the collapse, he said, adding the inspection found other buildings in the resort with similar problems.
Mr Siriwat said the hotel proprietor has promised to demolish the buildings which were found to be unsafe.
Meanwhile, Sinit Boonsit, director of the Building Control Bureau, said the resort’s construction was approved by the municipality in 2003.
The structures and their construction were designed and supervised by engineers in line with the Hotel Act, he said.