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Early on Thursday and the huge blaze continues to spread

Phuket City Blaze: 'Huge Fire' at Main SuperCheap Store, Police Fear Shoppers Are Dead

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Latest UPDATE: Photo Album ABOVE

Police at the SuperCheap store inferno tonight said they feared there were dead inside the store. Well into Thursday morning the blaze remained out of control with fire trucks brought in from as far as the neighboring province of Phang Nga.

Latest Blaze News and VIDEO

PHUKET: A huge blaze burning at the main SuperCheap store in Phuket City tonight was clearly still out of control into Thursday morning.

Every firetruck on Phuket was diverted to the scene from the time the blaze broke out at 9.45pm. Electricity to the area around the store has been cut.

''The fire is massive,'' a Phuketwan journalist reported on the way to the blaze. ''It's lighting up the night from kilometres away.''

Columns of fire and smoke were shooting high into the sky. Kusoldharm Phuket Foundation paramedics and police believe bodies will be found inside.

Phuket Public Health said at least 10 medical teams were on standby to enter the building, expecting to find dead.

Blasts that appeared to be from fireworks continued to sound late into the night and on into Thursday morning.

At the Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City, doctors and nurses were treating people burned in the blaze.

Some of them were Burmese and could not speak Thai. The SuperCheap store, popular with poor especially for its bargains, employed many Burmese as shop assistants.

In tears, a Thai woman at the hospital was being treated for a leg wound she suffered as she fell while running for her life.

''There was no fire alarm,'' she said. ''Everybody just started running for the door.''

People who are not able to contact relatives who were shopping or working on Wednesday night are being advised to visit Rajabhat University on Thursday to report to authorities so a list of missing persons can be compiled.

Phuket's National Blood Service is preparing backup if needed for victims. Donation times fun from 8.30am-2pm. (Information 076 251178 ext. 2 or 081 9588854).

Phuket provincial authorities are already setting up a centre to provide aid to needy victims of the fire. Lessons of the 2004 tsunami have been remembered.

The destroyed store, large and rambling, consisted of a series of corrugated iron warehouses in Thepkasattri Road, Phuket's main north-south artery.

It is - or was - a well-known Phuket landmark for the local island brand that has recently opened smaller stores to compete with the bigger convenience store brands.

However, the headquarters remains the most popular outlet - and a large warehouse full of goods of all kinds sits directly behind it. A petrol station is located nearby.

The main store is unconventional and has become an alternative Phuket tourist attraction because of its chaotic layout. Just about everything, from live fish to furniture to drugs and car accessories, is sold there.

Officials from local administrations all over Phuket, including Vice Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin could be spotted among worried onlookers at the scene.

Phuket Governor maitree Intrusud was in Bangkok for the day but will return to Phuket on an early flight on Thursday morning.

SuperCheap Blaze VIDEO

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=587230417991096&set=vb.100001124301679&type=2&theater/

SuperCheap Fireworks VIDEO

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=536866203055440&set=vb.100001961965470&type=2&theater/

Comments

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It's huge, the plume in the sky is incredible. Hope their is no loss of life

Posted by Cathy on October 16, 2013 22:24

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CAN SEE HUGE LIGHT IN SKY..ENTIRE SHOPPING CENTER ON FIRE

Posted by Anonymous on October 16, 2013 22:24

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Close to real time reporting. Bravo, PhuketWan....

Posted by Anonymous on October 16, 2013 22:32

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This is a terrible tragedy that will affect Phuket greatly. The presumed loss of life is terrible and should be mentioned first. But the loss of SuperCheap will be felt throughout Phuket for a long time coming.
My thoughts and prayers go out all, and may the people trying to put out the fire be protected.

Posted by Kobee on October 17, 2013 00:05

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Currently, Phuket National Blood Service prepared to back up the blood to help victims of the fire at Super-cheap Superstore start from tomorrow on 17th so they would like to invite people go there to donate the blood, it will prepare for victims above, donate time start from 8:30 am.til 20:00 pm. at Phuket National Blood Service and for more information can call 076-251178 ext. 2 or 081-9588854

Posted by Jon on October 17, 2013 01:56

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This is terrible news. I hope those that were inside managed to escape in time.

Posted by reader on October 17, 2013 02:04

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Horrific to see on national news, shocked to think there will be lives lost, sad indeed

Posted by Anonymous on October 17, 2013 02:07

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I can only hope that noone was killed in this disaster.
Having said that we must ask were there operating fire alarms or if not, why not?

Posted by Arthur on October 17, 2013 02:45

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Very sad. RIP those who couldn't get out. So many small businesses relied on Supercheap for their supplies, this will have a major impact on them.

Posted by Buster on October 17, 2013 03:04

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Just wondering if they have concluded on what started the fire and if there are any repurcussions since it did affect the entire neighbourhood?

It's approaching year end and maybe you can do a follow up on news that headlined this year without any conclusion yet like the HR director Jintana who was shot and killed.
Just saying cos I'm living my journalistic life vicariously through your website.

Posted by May on November 22, 2013 11:36


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