Explosive fire at Phi Phi Island damages several buildings

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Phi Phi Islands lie off Thailand's Andaman sea coast.

At some time before 11 AM, local time, a fire started in Bar Apache on the popular Phi Phi Island in Thailand. By eleven it had spread to neighbouring shops and restaurants along the main road.

Since there is no fire brigade on Phi Phi, locals and tourists formed a bucket chain to help put out the fire. An eye witness, Simon Vestling, says there were over 300 people helping out with putting out the fire and tearing down buildings.

To stop the fire from spreading to other nearby buildings, which are closely grouped together, they were forced to pull some of them down using nothing but man power. This managed to stop the fire from spreading to the rest of the island, but 10 buildings were still burnt down, mostly small shops and bars.

Boats were brought over from local Krabi Island in case an evacuation was needed, but that was not the case. The cost of the damage is estimated to be Bt2million.

Two Swedes sustained minor injuries from the smoke, but were treated with oxygen at a nearby dive center. No other injuries have been reported at this time.